Burkholderia Cepacia Identification, Gram Staining, Susceptibility, Treatment

Read about Burkholderia Cepacia Identification, Gram Staining, Susceptibility, Treatment.

What is Burkholderia cepacia?

Burkholderia cepacia is the term given to a group of bacteria that are found living in both the soil and water. This group consists of at least 17 species, with Burkholderia cepacia (or B. cepacia) being one of the most prevalent. These bacteria are capable of infecting human hosts, but they only induce symptoms in a subset of the population. 

Bacteria called B. cepacia are aerobic. Therefore, they require oxygen to survive. They are rod-shaped and equipped with flagella, which are either long or short tendrils that aid in movement and adhesion. They are significantly tiny than a human hair in width, with sizes varying between 1.6 to 3.2 micrometers.  

Burkholderia cepacia is a gram-negative, aerobic bacterium that lives in a wide range of aquatic settings. B cepacia is an organism exhibiting a low level of virulence and is a common colonizer of the fluids that are used in hospitals (for example, irrigation solutions and intravenous fluids). 

    Burkholderia Cepacia Identification

    Burkholderia cepacia is identified using a variety of approaches. The following are some examples of these:

    Gram staining

    Burkholderia cepacia is a gram-negative bacterium, therefore Gram's stain turns it pink under the microscope.

    Biochemical tests

    Several different biochemical tests can be utilized to identify Burkholderia cepacia. These tests include the oxidase test, the catalase test, and the capability to utilize a variety of sugars as a source of energy.

    (PCR) Polymerase Chain Reaction

    The DNA of Burkholderia cepacia is recognized using the molecular method of PCR.

    Matrix-assisted laser desorption

    This is a newer method that can quickly identify Burkholderia cepacia using its unique protein makeup.

    Burkholderia Cepacia Identification, Gram Staining, Susceptibility, Treatment

    Burkholderia Cepacia Gram Staining

    The Gram stain is a widely employed laboratory technique that categorizes bacteria into two main groups depending on the composition of their cell walls. Gram-negative bacteria, such as Burkholderia cepacia, have a thin coating of peptidoglycan in their cell walls, which is covered by an outer membrane comprising lipopolysaccharides, giving them their distinct staining pattern.

    A bacterial sample is first fixed on a slide using heat or chemicals before performing a Gram stain. Then, the crystal violet stain is poured all over the slide, staining every cell purple. The slide is then treated with a decolorizing substance, such as alcohol or acetone, which eliminates the stain from the gram-negative bacteria but leaves the crystal violet stain on the gram-positive bacteria. The last step is to counterstain the slide with a pink or red dye, like safranin so that the gram-negative bacteria appear in a pink or red color.

    The slide is inspected under a microscope after staining, and the bacteria are distinguished depending on their staining pattern. Burkholderia cepacia looks like pink or red rods under a microscope, which means it is a gram-negative bacteria. Gram staining is a quick and easy way to identify the gram-staining features of a sample of bacteria, but it is not enough to identify Burkholderia cepacia by itself. Additional testing, such as molecular techniques or biochemical tests, is required to validate the identification of the bacteria.

    Burkholderia Cepacia Susceptibility

    The majority of persons are not susceptible to B. cepacia infections. However, some people are, and in those instances, the lungs are commonly infected by these bacteria. An extreme form of pneumonia results from this. 

    The quickly developing, necrotizing type of pneumonia that this bacteria causes is known as cepacia syndrome. It is capable of causing significant lung damage in a matter of days.  

    Burkholderia can infect the following: 

    • The skin and various other soft tissues
    • Urinary tract
    • Blood

    B. cepacia incubates in the body for a variable amount of time after being exposed to a person. It begins to multiply when the body creates a more favorable environment for it, such as when it is weakened by another sickness or therapy.   

    Additionally, some population subgroups are more susceptible to acquiring a B. cepacia infection than others. This includes those individuals who: 

    Suffer from chronic lung disease, especially cystic fibrosis

    • Possess sickle cell anemia
    • Are undergoing cancer treatment
    • Are getting treated for burns
    • These bacteria also affect hospitalized persons

    Burkholderia Cepacia Treatment

    Infections caused by B. cepacia must be treated on an individual basis. Most of the time, these bacteria are resistant to standard antibiotics, but the doctor is probably able to find one that can treat the infection. The results of laboratory tests can assist in determining which antibiotics are going to be most helpful in treating the condition. 

    If the strain is very resistant, it is advised to switch antibiotics in the middle of treatment or to take them for a longer period than usual. 

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