Burkholderia cepacia infection is caused by B. cepacia. It is a bacterial species found in soil and water. It can cause severe respiratory infections in people who are already sick. Numerous outbreaks of non-respiratory B. cepacia have been connected to infected medical products.

In most cases, B. cepacia does not cause disease in healthy individuals. Those with weakened immune systems or prolonged lung diseases, especially cystic fibrosis, may be more susceptible to infection. In addition, the bacteria is a recognized cause of infection in hospitalized individuals.


The symptoms of Burkholderia cepacia infection vary depending on the patient’s overall health. Serious respiratory infections are possible, particularly in individuals with lung diseases like cystic fibrosis. Infections at other locations, such as the bloodstream, are possible.

The following are the signs of bloodstream infection:


Only by collecting and testing adequate specimens in the laboratory can a Burkholderia cepacia infection be identified. A doctor, for example, may collect a blood sample for testing if he or she suspects a patient has a bloodstream infection. The laboratory can also conduct tests to evaluate which antibiotic is most effective in treating the illness.


Antibiotics can be used to treat B. cepacia infections. Antibiotics that are effective for treatment can be determined through laboratory testing. Some B. cepacia bacteria have developed antibiotic resistance and can be challenging to treat. In such instances, the antibiotic utilized to cure the disease might have to be changed, or the patient may be required to take antibiotics for a longer period. 

Also, in order to prevent infection, there are things you need to know. Hand washing is the most effective way to prevent the spread of Burkholderia cepacia infection and other infections. This includes using soap and water to wash your hands. Specific infection prevention and control precautions should be followed by healthcare workers. Patients and medical workers should frequently wash their hands, including:

  • Prior to preparing or consuming food
  • Before putting their hands near their nose, eyes, or mouth
  • Following the use of the restroom
  • After coughing, sneezing, or blowing their nose
  • Before and after changing bandages or wound dressings
  • Following contact with hospital surfaces

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