Burkholderia cepacia epidemiology and pathogenesis: implications for infection control

Curr Opin Pulm Med. 1998 Nov;4(6):337-41. doi: 10.1097/00063198-199811000-00005.


Much has been learned during the past 2 years about the microbiology and taxonomy of Burkholderia cepacia. Several distinct species have been identified in what is now referred to as the B. cepacia complex. Preliminary studies indicate that certain of these species are more likely to colonize and cause severe pulmonary infection in persons with cystic fibrosis. Ongoing investigations will expand these findings and have the potential to modify current infection control policies. The commercial use of B. cepacia as an antifungal biopesticide and in bioremediation has attracted increasing attention from industry recently and raises concerns within the cystic fibrosis community. Consensus regarding the potential threat of such uses to cystic fibrosis patients is being sought by governmental agencies and agricultural and biomedical researchers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Burkholderia Infections / diagnosis
  • Burkholderia Infections / epidemiology*
  • Burkholderia cepacia / drug effects
  • Burkholderia cepacia / isolation & purification*
  • Comorbidity
  • Cystic Fibrosis / epidemiology*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / microbiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Opportunistic Infections / diagnosis
  • Opportunistic Infections / epidemiology*
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents