Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei – Confirmation

Conformément au Règlement de l’Ontario 671/92 de la Loi sur les services en français, les renseignements d’analyses de laboratoire liés à la présente page ne sont offerts qu’en anglais parce qu’ils sont de nature scientifique ou technique et destinés uniquement à l’usage des fournisseurs de soins de santé qualifiés et non aux membres du public.

Testing Indications

Submitting laboratories must contact Public Health Ontario laboratory Customer Service Centre by telephone prior to submission of the isolate.

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

Test Requested Required Requisition(s) Specimen Type Minimum Volume Collection Kit

Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia psedomallei – Confirmation

Pure viable subculture of organism on blood or Columbia sheep blood agar plate

Most appropriate medium is blood or Columbia sheep blood agar plate

Submission and Collection Notes


Complete all fields of the Reference Bacteriology Requisition, including:

  • test(s) requested
  • culture information (catalase, oxidase, motility)
  • clinical/epidemiology
  • contact information

Storage and Transport

Label the specimen with the patient’s full name, date of collection and one other unique identifier such as the patient’s date of birth or Health Card Number. Failure to provide this information may result in rejection or testing delay.

Special Instructions

Culture must be viable. Use a fresh subculture and ship in conditions to ensure viability on receipt. 

B. mallei and B. pseudomallei must be handled in accordance with the Canadian Biosafety Standards and shipped in accordance with the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

Suspected cultures of B. mallei or B. pseudomallei are forwarded to the National Microbiology Laboratory Monday to Thursday. 

Turnaround time for test results is up to 3 days from receipt by NML.

STAT and Critical Samples Testing

Urgent testing is available upon request by calling the Customer Service Centre 416-235-6556 or 1-877-604-4567.

Test Methods

B. mallei and B. pseudomallei are confirmed using real-time-PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) method.


Results are reported to the ordering physician or health care provider as indicated on the requisition.


LAB-SD-125, Reference Bacteriology and Antimicrobial Susceptibility: New Requisition and Testing Algorithm for Improved Test Utilization

Mis à jour le 25 sept. 2019