Background and Aim: Melioidosis is a potentially fatal disease affecting humans and a wide range of animal species; it is often underdiagnosed and underreported in veterinary medicine in Indonesia. This study aimed to characterize morphological and molecular features of Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis which caused the death of a Bornean orangutan.
Materials and Methods: Pulmonary abscess samples were cultured on several types of media, including Ashdown agar, Ashdown broth, and MacConkey agar. Type three secretion system orf 2 real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and latex agglutination tests were performed to identify the bacteria. Morphological characteristics were compared to all previously published morphotypes. Subsequently, the bacteria were characterized by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and Yersinia-like flagellum/Burkholderia thailandensis-like flagellum and chemotaxis PCR. The results of the genotyping were afterward compared to all genotypes from Southeast Asia.
Results: Multiple morphotypes of B. pseudomallei were perceived during the growth on Ashdown agar. Furthermore, it was identified by MLST that the Type I and Type II morphotypes observed in this study were clones of a single ST, ST54, which is predominantly found in humans and the environment in Malaysia and Thailand, although a very limited number of reports was published in association with animals. Moreover, the E-BURST analysis showed that the ST is grouped together with isolates from Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and Cambodia. ST54 was predicted to be the founding genotype of several STs from those regions.
Conclusion: B. pseudomallei ST54 that caused the death of a Bornean orangutan has a distant genetic relationship with other STs which were previously reported in Indonesia, implying a vast genetic diversity in Indonesia that has not been discovered yet.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.