Melissa Benoit

What is Burkholderia Cepacia?

Burkholderia cepacia complex (BCC) is a family of bacteria, or germs, which live in soil and damp or wet places and cause rot in plants such as onions. This family of bacteria rarely causes infection in healthy people but can be a problem for people with cystic fibrosis. We now know that there are approximately 17 different kinds (species) of closely related Burkholderia and we call this group of bacteria, Burkholderia cepacia complex (BCC).

Burkholderia cepacia complex is like a "family" of bacteria. This family is made up of 17 different family members or species. Regular testing in the lab does not allow us to distinguish between all members of the family and thus specialized testing is required to determine the species of BCC. We use the Burkholderia cepacia reference and research lab in Michigan to test which species of BCC are present.