Combating the great mimicker: latest progress in the development of Burkholderia pseudomallei vaccines

Nittaya Khakhum, Itziar Chapartegui Gonzalez, Alfredo G. Torres

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction Burkholderia pseudomallei: is an environmental intracellular Gram-negative bacterium that causes melioidosis, a severe infectious disease affecting humans and animals. An increase in melioidosis cases worldwide and the high mortality rate of the disease makes it a public health concern. Melioidosis is known as the ‘great mimicker’ because it presents with a wide range of disease manifestations. B. pseudomallei is naturally resistant to antibiotics and delay in diagnosis leads to ineffective treatment. Furthermore, there is no approved vaccine to prevent melioidosis infection in humans. Therefore, it is a priority to license a vaccine that can be used for both high-risk endemic areas and for biodefense purposes. Areas covered: In this review, we have focussed on recent progress in the USA for the development and advancement of lead B. pseudomallei vaccine candidate(s) ready for testing in pre-clinical trials. Those candidates include live-attenuated vaccines, glycoconjugate vaccines, outer-membrane vesicles, and gold nanoparticle vaccines. Expert opinion: Side-by-side comparison of the leading B. pseudomallei vaccine candidates will provide important information to further advance studies into pre-clinical trials. The likelihood of any of these current vaccines becoming the selected candidate that will reduce the occurrence of melioidosis worldwide is closer than ever.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)653-660
Number of pages8
JournalExpert review of vaccines
StatePublished - 2020


  • Burkholderia pseudomallei
  • glycoconjugate vaccine
  • gold nanoparticle vaccine
  • live-attenuated vaccine
  • melioidosis
  • outer-membrane vesicle
  • vaccines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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