Burkholderia mallei Genome Project
Burkholderia mallei, the bacterium that causes glanders, produces fatal infections in man and animals, particularly in equines. B. mallei, a highly infectious as an aerosol, was used as a biological weapon during WWI against the US and more recently in Afghanistan, it is considered to be a Category B bioterrorist agent. Since we are vulnerable to this biothreat agent because there is no rapid detection assay, no reliable antibiotics, and no vaccine available, and our knowledge of this bacterial pathogen lags far behind that of other pathogens, NIH-NIAID funded genome project (U01AI049037) for sequencing B. mallei ATCC 23344, a highly pathogenic clinical isolate, has been expanded to generate whole genome shotgun sequences for 9 different phenotypically characterized strains in the natural host (equine or man) that differ greatly in virulence. All data will be released immediately in the public domain.