Differences in Inflammation Patterns Induced by African and Asian Burkholderia pseudomallei Isolates in Mice

Tassili A. F. Weehuizen Center for Infection and Immunity Amsterdam (CINIMA), Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Center for Experimental and Molecular Medicine (CEMM), Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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Emma Birnie Center for Infection and Immunity Amsterdam (CINIMA), Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Center for Experimental and Molecular Medicine (CEMM), Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Centre de Recherches Médicales en Lambaréné (CERMEL), Lambaréné, Gabon.

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Bart Ferwerda Center for Infection and Immunity Amsterdam (CINIMA), Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Center for Experimental and Molecular Medicine (CEMM), Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Department of Neurology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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Joris J. T. H. Roelofs Department of Pathology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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Alex F. de Vos Center for Infection and Immunity Amsterdam (CINIMA), Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Center for Experimental and Molecular Medicine (CEMM), Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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Martin P. Grobusch Centre de Recherches Médicales en Lambaréné (CERMEL), Lambaréné, Gabon.
Division of Infectious Diseases, Center for Tropical Medicine and Travel Medicine, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Institute of Tropical Medicine, University of Tübingen, Germany.

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W. Joost Wiersinga Center for Infection and Immunity Amsterdam (CINIMA), Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Center for Experimental and Molecular Medicine (CEMM), Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Division of Infectious Diseases, Center for Tropical Medicine and Travel Medicine, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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Burkholderia pseudomallei is the causative agent of melioidosis, an emerging tropical disease of high mortality. Sub-Saharan Africa represents potential melioidosis “hotspots”; however, to date, only a few cases have been reported. Here in, we compared the inflammatory patterns induced by a B. pseudomallei strain recently isolated from a fatal Gabonese case with the Thai reference strain B. pseudomallei-1026b and Burkholderia thailandensis-E264. Ex vivo, no differences were observed in terms of cellular responsiveness between strains. However, when compared with the B. pseudomallei-1026b strain, the Gabonese isolate was significantly less virulent in terms of bacterial dissemination, inflammatory response, and organ damage in mice. Genomic comparison between strains showed differences in regions containing a fimbriae/adhesion virulence protein. In addition to a lack of microbiology facilities, differences in virulence of Burkholderia strains might contribute to the diverse global clinical occurrence of melioidosis.

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Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Emma Birnie, Center for Experimental and Molecular Medicine, Academic Medical Center, Meibergdreef 9, Room G2-132, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands. E-mail: e.birnie@amc.nl
† These authors contributed equally to this work.

Authors' addresses: Tassili A. F. Weehuizen and Alex F. de Vos, Center for Infection and Immunity Amsterdam (CINIMA), Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Center for Experimental and Molecular Medicine (CEMM), Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, E-mails: t.a.weehuizen@amc.nl and a.f.devos@amc.uva.nl. Emma Birnie, Center for Infection and Immunity Amsterdam (CINIMA), Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Center for Experimental and Molecular Medicine (CEMM), Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Centre de Recherches Médicales en Lambaréné (CERMEL), Lambaréné, Gabon, E-mail: e.birnie@amc.nl. Bart Ferwerda, Center for Infection and Immunity Amsterdam (CINIMA), Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Center for Experimental and Molecular Medicine (CEMM), Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Department of Neurology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, E-mail: e.b.ferwerda@amc.uva.nl. Joris J. T. H. Roelofs, Department of Pathology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, E-mail: j.j.roelofs@amc.uva.nl. Martin P. Grobusch, Centre de Recherches Médicales en Lambaréné (CERMEL), Lambaréné, Gabon, Division of Infectious Diseases, Center for Tropical Medicine and Travel Medicine, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Institute of Tropical Medicine, University of Tübingen, Germany, E-mail: m.p.grobusch@amc.uva.nl. W. Joost Wiersinga, Center for Infection and Immunity Amsterdam (CINIMA), Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Center for Experimental and Molecular Medicine (CEMM), Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Division of Infectious Diseases, Center for Tropical Medicine and Travel Medicine, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, E-mail: w.j.wiersinga@amc.uva.nl.

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