What conditions are caused by P cepacia infection?

Updated: Dec 17, 2018
  • Author: Selina SP Chen, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

In 1949, Walter Burkholder of Cornell University first described P cepacia (now known as Burkholderia cepacia) as the phytopathogen responsible for the bacterial rot of onions. [3] In the 1950s, B cepacia was first reported as a human pathogen that causes endocarditis. Subsequently, the organism has been found in numerous catheter-associated UTIs, wound infections, and IV catheter–associated bacteremias.

In 1971, this species was reported as the causative organism of foot rot in US troops on swamp training exercises in northern Florida; it also was isolated from troops serving in Vietnam's Mekong Delta. In 1972, B cepacia was discovered as an opportunistic human pathogen in a patient with CF. Since then, B cepacia has emerged with increasing frequency as the cause of pneumonia and septicemia in children with CF.


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