Current Tropical Medicine Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 117–126 | Cite as

The Current Status of Extracellular Polymeric Substances Produced by Burkholderia pseudomallei

  • Mihnea R. Mangalea
  • Grace I. Borlee
  • Bradley R. BorleeEmail author
Melioidosis and Tropical Bacteriology (A Torres, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Melioidosis and Tropical Bacteriology


Purpose of Review

Extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) that are produced by Burkholderia pseudomallei consist of diverse structural components that serve equally diverse protective and antigenic functions. B. pseudomallei is a sapronotic disease agent that transitions from the environment to cause severe infection in humans and animals. EPS components are proposed to play a critical role in transmission, dissemination, and protection of the bacteria in these varied environments. However, many of these components remain uncharacterized, and there is a lack of consensus regarding classification of these EPS components.

Recent Findings

Bioinformatics, mutational studies, and transcriptional profiling of biofilms have identified additional EPS components, which include exopolysaccharides, capsular polysaccharides, proteins, and extracellular DNA.


The current status of B. pseudomallei EPS components is presented here. However, the nomenclature regarding extracellular polymeric substances from Burkholderia spp. is not consistent. We sought to illuminate these differences to facilitate communication between researchers working with Burkholderia spp.


Biofilm Extracellular polymeric substances Exopolysaccharide Capsule Burkholderia 



Burkholderia pseudomallei complex


Burkholderia cepacia complex


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mihnea R. Mangalea
    • 1
  • Grace I. Borlee
    • 1
  • Bradley R. Borlee
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology DepartmentColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA

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