Occurrence of multiple genomovars of Burkholderia cepacia in cystic fibrosis patients and proposal of Burkholderia multivorans sp. nov

Int J Syst Bacteriol. 1997 Oct;47(4):1188-200. doi: 10.1099/00207713-47-4-1188.


We performed an integrated genotypic and phenotypic analysis of 128 strains of the genera Burkholderia, Ralstonia, and Pseudomonas in order to study the taxonomic structure of Burkholderia cepacia and its relationships with other Burkholderia species. Our data show that presumed B. cepacia strains isolated from cystic fibrosis patients belong to at least five distinct genomic species, one of which was identified as Burkholderia vietnamiensis. This group of five phenotypically similar species is referred to as the B. cepacia complex. The name Burkholderia multivorans is proposed for one of these genomic species, which was formerly referred to as B. cepacia genomovar II; the remaining B. cepacia groups are referred to as genomovars I, III, and IV, pending additional differential phenotypic tests. The role and pathogenic potential of each of these taxa, particularly in view of the potentially fatal infections in cystic fibrosis patients, need further evaluation. The data presented also demonstrate that Pseudomonas glathei and Pseudomonas pyrrocinia should be reclassified as Burkholderia species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / analysis
  • Base Composition
  • Burkholderia cepacia / chemistry
  • Burkholderia cepacia / classification*
  • Burkholderia cepacia / genetics
  • Burkholderia cepacia / metabolism
  • Culture Media / metabolism
  • Cystic Fibrosis / microbiology*
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • Fatty Acids / analysis
  • Humans
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Phylogeny


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Culture Media
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Fatty Acids