Antibody detection of Burkholderia pseudommallei and Burkholderia mallei

  • Jill F. Ellis

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Monoclonal and polyclonaI antibodies have been produced for use in immunological assays for the detection of Burkholderia pseudomallei and Burkholderia mallei. Monoclonal antibodies recognising a high molecular weight polysaccharide material found in some strains of both species have been shown to be effective in recognising B. pseudomallei and B. mallei and distinguishing them from other organisms. The high molecular weight polysaccharide material is thought to be the capsule of B. pseudomallei and B. mallei and may have important links with virulence. B. pseudomallei and B. mallei are known to be closely related, sharing many epitopes, but antigenic variation has been demonstrated within both the species. The lipopolysaccharide from strains of B. pseudomal/ei and B. mallei has been isolated and the silver stain profiles found to be visually very similar. A monoclonal antibody raised to B. mallei LPS has been found to recognise both B. mallei and B. pseudomallei strains. However, in a small number of B. pseudomallei strains a visually atypical LPS profile has been demonstrated. A monoclonal ant ibody rai sed
against this atypical LPS showed no recognition of the typical LPS profile of either
B. mallei or B. pseudomallei. This atypical LPS structure has not been reported and may be immunologically distinct from the typical LPS. Molecular biology and
antibody engineering techniques have been used in an attempt to produce single-chain antibody fragments reactive to B. pseudomallei. Sequencing of one of the
single-chain antibody fragments produced showed high homology with murine
immunoglobulin genes, but none of the single-chain antibody fragments were found to be specific to B. pselldomallei.
Date of AwardFeb 2000
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorMichael R W Brown (Supervisor)


  • Antibody detection
  • Burkholderia pseudommallei
  • Burkholderia mallei

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