Skip to main content

Endophthalmitis caused by Burkholderia cepacia complex (BCC): clinical characteristics, antibiotic susceptibilities, and treatment outcomes



To report the clinical characteristics, antibiotic susceptibilities, and review the literature of Burkholderia cepacia complex (BCC) associated endophthalmitis.

Study design

Retrospective, observational case series.


Clinical and microbiology records were reviewed for patients evaluated at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and diagnosed wisth culture-confirmed endophthalmitis due to BCC. Antibiotic susceptibility profiles were generated using standard microbiologic protocols via an automated VITEK system.


Endophthalmitis associated with BCC was diagnosed in three patients. Infection occurred in the setting of post-penetrating keratoplasty (PKP), glaucoma filtering surgery, and suspected trauma. All isolates demonstrated in vitro susceptibility to ceftazidime and meropenem. Presenting visual acuity (VA) ranged from hand motion to light perception. Initial treatment strategies included intravitreal ceftazidime (2.25 mg/0.1 mL) and vancomycin (1.0 mg/0.1 mL) injections with fortified topical antibiotics in 2 patients, and surgical debridement of a corneoscleral melt with patch graft along with both topical fortified antibiotics oral antibiotics in the third patient. In all 3 patients, there was no VA improvement at last follow-up, as 2 eyes ultimately underwent enucleation and 1 eye exhibited phthisis bulbi at last follow-up. BCC related endophthalmitis was reviewed among 13 reports. Treatment outcomes were generally poor and antibiotic resistance was common. These BCC isolates cases demonstrated broad resistance patterns, with susceptibilities to ceftazidime (58%), ciprofloxacin (53%), and gentamicin (33%).


Endophthalmitis caused by B. cepacia is a rare clinical entity with generally poor visual outcomes despite prompt treatment with appropriate antibiotics.


Bacterial endophthalmitis is most often caused by gram-positive organisms, but gram-negative organisms account for up to 30 percent of cases [24, 35]. Gram-negative endophthalmitis are often associated with unfavorable VA outcomes [25, 28]. The Burkholderia cepacia complex (BCC), previously classified as part of the Pseudomonas genus, is a group of at least 20 closely related species of rare gram-negative, oxidase-positive, non-fermenting bacillary organisms [10, 15].

Found in soil, water, plants, industrial settings, and hospitals, BCC is ubiquitous in the environment and harbors a large genome encoding for many virulence factors which provide natural antibiotic resistance [34, 36]. BCC has been implicated in outbreaks from contaminated surgical compounds, [12, 31] as well as pharmaceutical products such as nebulization solutions, hand sanitizers and mouthwash [1, 14, 32]. Tavares and colleagues reported viable BCC isolates from pharmaceutical-grade, nutrient-deficient, saline solutions containing biocidal preservatives as much as 16 months later in two BCC species [33].

Clinical and ecological distinction among the various BCC species remain to be described, and indeed, many clinical laboratories struggle with species specific identification using standard automated commercial systems [10, 13]. Cystic fibrosis, chronic granulomatous disease, and other causes of immune compromise have been cited as predisposing risk factors for BCC infections [21], although no such association has been reported yet for ocular infections.

Ocular BCC infections are rare and present with a significant degree of clinical variation. In a recent report of 6 cases of B. contaminans endophthalmitis following cataract surgery, time to onset of symptoms was 12–112 days, with 5 of 6 cases having at least one recurrence of symptoms following treatment [14]. Most case series of BCC endophthalmitis reported poor visual outcomes that often result in phthisis, enucleation or visual acuity of light perception [6, 11, 12, 16, 17, 20, 26, 31]. Deb et al. reported an outbreak of 5 cases of post-operative BCC endophthalmitis all of which failed to respond following vitreous tap and injection of vancomycin and ceftazidime, despite subsequent demonstration of ceftazidime susceptibility. 4 cases underwent vitrectomies with additional injection of meropenem, all achieving vision of 20/200 or better, of which 2 cases attained final vision of 20/60 [7]. In significant contrast [14]. reported all 6 cases having good visual outcomes of ≥ 0.8 [14]. Two other case reports of BCC endophthalmitis by Okonkwo [18] and Saffra [27] following anti-VEGF injections with relatively quick onset (4 days [18] and 11 days [27] following injection), treated with pars plana vitrectomy and intravitreal antibiotic injections also reported favorable visual outcomes (20/60 [18] and 20/30 [27] respectively). In a large review, BCC accounted for 1.8% (14/744) [26] of culture positive cases of endophthalmitis, which occurred after cataract surgery in 85% of cases (29/34), [16] and post-penetrating keratoplasty (PKP), LASIK, [23] intravitreal anti-VEGF injection, and filtering surgery in the remainder of cases.

Herein we report 3 cases of B. cepacia endophthalmitis evaluated and treated at our institution. We also review the literature of the other BCC endophthalmitis with particular attention to the reported antibiotic susceptibilities and clinical outcomes.

Patients and methods

This retrospective consecutive case series conducted at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute examined the bacterial isolates of patients with culture-positive B. cepacia endophthalmitis (Table 1). Data collected from charts included patient demographics, preexisting ocular and systemic conditions, exam findings, treatment administered, operative reports, and microbiology laboratory results (Table 2). Phenotypic antibiotic resistance patterns reported here were obtained from minimum inhibitory concentration values using the automatic system Vitek 2 (bioMérieux, Durham, NC).

Table 1 Susceptibility testing results
Table 2 Patient characteristics

Case reports and results

Case 1

An 80-year-old male presented with complaints of redness and discharge two weeks following repeat penetrating keratoplasty with amniotic membrane graft and subconjunctival bevacizumab injection for corneal decompensation in the setting of multiple prior surgeries. Ocular comorbidities included a remote history of cataract surgery and ExPRESS shunt implantation, BGI for neovascular glaucoma, and a central retinal vascular occlusion. Prior to the penetrating keratoplasty surgery, baseline VA was noted to be poor (hand motion). Exam revealed purulent discharge, hypopyon, shallow anterior chamber (AC), and dense vitritis on B-scan echography. An AC paracentesis was performed for culture after a failed vitreous tap. Intravitreal vancomycin (1.0 mg/0.1 mL) and ceftazidime (2.25 mg/0.1 mL) were injected. Topical fortified tobramycin and vancomycin were initiated. VA improved to count fingers the following day, however, exam revealed possible periorbital extension with restricted ocular movement for which oral amoxicillin-clavulanate was started. The following day, further clinical decline was noted with decrease in VA to hand motion, increasing hypopyon size, and pain. Given poor visual potential and patient preference, the eye was enucleated 2 days following initial presentation.

Case 2

A 66-year-old female presented with a painful red eye for 2 weeks. Ocular history included a prior glaucoma drainage implant (GDI) at an outside facility 6 months ago. Of note, VA prior to GDI was LP. Exam at presentation included hypopyon and fibrin surrounding the tube in the AC. B-scan ultrasound showed dense vitreous membranes. A vitreous culture was performed, and vancomycin (1.0 mg/0.1 mL), ceftazidime (2.25 mg/0.1 mL), and dexamethasone were injected. Topical fortified vancomycin 25 mg/ml, tobramycin 14 mg/ml, atropine 1% solution, and 1% prednisolone acetate were also initiated and eventually deescalated to moxifloxacin following identification of B. cepacia. At 8 days following initial presentation, her pain improved but visual acuity decreased to no light perception (NLP); there was a persistent hypopyon and B-scan echography demonstrated a retinal detachment. At six weeks follow-up, infection was resolved but the eye remained NLP with 360-degree choroidal and retinal detachments with phthisical changes. The eye was enucleated 3 years following initial presentation due poor prognosis and new exposure of the GDI and IOL.

Case 3

A 62-year-old male presented with a 2-week history of progressive eye pain. The patient had prior cataract surgery 3 years earlier and reported an episode of blunt trauma (an elbow to the eye) approximately 2 weeks prior to symptom onset with stable subjective vision until the day of presentation. Presenting VA was LP and initial examination revealed complete corneal opacification with central corneal ulceration and 360 choroidal detachment on B-scan echography. The patient was taken to surgery for corneoscleral debridement of necrotic tissue and implantation of a corneal patch graft. Intraoperative biopsy was performed. The patient was treated with fortified topical vancomycin, tobramycin, with the addition of moxifloxacin upon identification of B. cepacia, as well as oral levofloxacin followed by oral ciprofloxacin. Once fungal infection was ruled out, topical prednisolone was initiated with subsequent addition of oral prednisolone and subtenon’s triamcinolone. Despite aggressive topical and periorbital treatment, at two-week follow-up, B-scan ultrasound showed retinal detachment, dense vitritis, and subretinal opacities suggestive of endophthalmitis. Due to poor prognosis, early phthisis bulbi, and an unsalvageable eye, a vitreous tap was deferred. Comfort measures and enucleation were recommended. The patient was subsequently lost-to-follow-up.


In the review of the literature, 13 additional reports of BCC related endophthalmitis were identified accounting for 56 cases (Table 3). BCC related corneal ulcers or systemic infections were not included in this review. The reports range from 1992 with Irvine and colleagues to Lind and colleagues reporting 6 cases in 2021. 78% (44/56) of cases were preceded by cataract surgery, 9% (5/56) occurred after trauma, and remainder occurring after intravitreal injections, vitrectomy, and corneal transplantation. Time to onset ranged from 2 days to 6 months from the identified inciting event, with an average of 36 days and median of 20 days. Recurrent infection was described in 13 cases, of which 6 cases had more than one recurrence. Final visual outcomes also varied significantly. One quarter of cases (14/56) had visions of 20/40 or better, with 6 of the 13 cases reported by [14]. An additional 32% (18/56) achieved a final VA between 20/40 and 20/200. The remainder had poor visual outcomes of which at least 7 ended in phthisis or enucleation and 3 had retinal detachments by the end of respective follow up periods. Recurrence was also common with reports of at least 13/56 cases.

Table 3 Review of literature

Among the 10 reports that described antibiotic susceptibilities, each tested and reported different antibiotic sensitivity panels (Table 4). Treatment strategies generally followed EVS guidelines with intravitreal vancomycin (1 mg/0.1 mL), ceftazidime (2.25 mg/0.1 mL). Vitrectomy with silicone oil was also a common therapy when presenting VA was LP or worse. Of the antibiotics tested in at least 3 reports, there was evidence of at least one BCC strain with resistance reported by one of the remaining 8 studies analyzed. Both [14] and Lalitha et al. reported strains sensitive to piperacillin/tazobactam. Case 3 reported in our cohort, however, displayed resistance to piperacillin/tazobactam. Ceftazidime was the most tested, utilized, and most commonly sensitive antibiotic at 68% (30 cases were sensitive, 16 were resistant, 2 were reported as “moderate” sensitivity, 1 was not reported). Of note, Deb et al. reported 5 cases initially treated with vitreous tap and injection of vancomycin plus ceftazidime ultimately requiring additional pars plana vitrectomy and injection of meropenem due to inadequate initial response yet reported sensitivity to ceftazidime in all isolates [7]. Fluoroquinolone sensitivities were reported by 9/10 studies, with ciprofloxacin being the most commonly tested showing 53% sensitivity among cases tested (21/40). Aminoglycosides were also commonly tested, gentamicin showing 33% sensitivity (13/40) and amikacin showing 20% sensitivity (8/41).

Table 4 Antibiotic susceptibilities among published reports

Reported cases of BCC endophthalmitis are rare. The first case of B. cepacia endophthalmitis was reported by Del Piero et al. in 1985 following trabeculectomy and extracapsular cataract extraction [8]. In the largest case series to date, Sachdeva et al. reported 14 cases of BCC endophthalmitis out of 744 cases in the LV Prasad Endophthalmitis registry between 2003 – 2008: 9 cases occurred after cataract surgery, 1 following PKP, and 4 in the setting of trauma [26]. In a recent literature review, [16] found 34 cases of post-surgical, culture-confirmed endophthalmitis between 1992–2018 among 8 reports, of which 85% occurred following cataract surgery and the remainder occurring after PKP, intravitreal injections [18, 27], and vitrectomies [16]. BCC isolates often display significant antibiotic resistance profiles in vitro [35]. A recent report of the molecular analysis of B. contaminans isolate from a polymicrobial corneal ulcer showed inherent resistance to fluoroquinolones, cephalosporins, carbapenems, monobactam, aminoglycosides, and sulfonamides while susceptible to tetracylclines, meropenem, and ceftazidime [13].

Outcomes for BCC endophthalmitis varied significantly across the 13 reports reviewed. Clear trends remain difficult to extrapolate as context and treatment strategies varied widely. Additionally, the wide degree of antibiotic resistance variation among the BCC strains, discussed further below, requires an individualized approach to care. Indeed, recurrence was noted in 13 cases, 6 of which had multiple episodes, while 5 cases reported by Deb et al. treated with an antibiotic subsequently noted as sensitive had an inadequate response.

Review of the susceptibilities of BCC related endophthalmitis cases published in the literature demonstrates a diversity of antibiotic sensitivities among the virulent strains described as well as diverse panels of antibiotic susceptibilities tested. Ceftazidime was the most commonly tested and most commonly sensitive antibiotic, followed by ciprofloxacin and gentamicin. Pipercillin/tazobactam stands out as sensitive in 19/19 cases. However, this represents only two reports [14, 15] which described two single outbreak clusters respectively, and case #3 described in the present report displayed piperacillin/tazobactam resistance. These results align well with the various resistance mechanisms employed by this bacterial genus. Given the broad resistance patterns seen, identification of BCC as well Pseudomonas, which is often initially misidentified for BCC, may benefit from a broader susceptibility panel examination and lower threshold to broaden therapeutic choice of agents.

In the current study, all three isolates were susceptible to ceftazidime (Table 1) which were given as intravitreal injections to patient 1 and patient 2. All patients received topical fortified vancomycin and tobramycin. In addition, all three patients received topical moxifloxacin upon identification of the causative organism. Despite in vitro susceptibility testing, multiple clinical and laboratory studies have substantiated the observed treatment failure seen in many patients. Although some have attributed this to inadequate antibiotic concentrations, factors like broad intrinsic antibiotic resistance, [36] biofilm formation [9], and phase of growth [21] affect the resistance profile. Various studies have shown potential BCC resistance to all the major antibiotic classes, including polymyxins, aminoglycosides [5], ß-lactams [22], fluoroquinolones [36] and tetracyclines [3]. These factors might support an earlier surgical intervention with vitrectomy [25].

All 3 patients had previous intraocular surgery. Cataract surgery is the most common cited preceding factor to BCC endophthalmitis [19, 26]. Time to presentation is also quite variable, as seen among our 3 cases [12, 26]. Although cases of BCC endophthalmitis generally meet the European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) criteria for acute post-operative endophthalmitis of within 6 weeks of surgery, it is notable that only 14–22% of acute endophthalmitis is seen beyond 2 weeks of surgery while BCC on average presents 2–6 weeks after initial insult [2]. And while prior studies comparing outcomes of acute vs delayed onset endophthalmitis found better outcomes with the more insidious forms, [29] delayed onset cases of BCC do not follow this general trend [12, 14, 26, 31]. A recent outbreak of endophthalmitis at a surgical center in Norway included 6 patients in the period from 1/4/2019 to 1/28/2019 with B. cepacia complex linked to a contaminated fresh air ventilation system [14, 30]. All 6 eyes had severe vision loss and required prolonged treatment course. In sharp contrast with other prior reports, Lind and colleagues reported good visual outcomes (final vision of 20/25 or better) among 6 cases of BCC endophthalmitis following cataract surgery treated with vitrectomy, lensectomy with complete removal of the capsular bag, and repeated intravitreal antibiotic injections [14]. These cases along with a report by Okonkwo [18] suggest an important role in capsular bag removal during initial vitrectomy as means of preventing recurrence which has been documented in other prior reports.

In the non-ophthalmic literature, B. cepacia infection has also been associated with immunocompromise, particularly in patients with cystic fibrosis and chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) [21]. None of our patients had a history of cystic fibrosis, CGD or known immunocompromise. Several case series have also found contaminated surgical or pharmacologic agents as sources of cluster infections which was not suspected as the likely cause in our case series [12, 31].

The current study adds 3 cases B. cepacia endophthalmitis, a rare clinical entity, to the body of literature. Our review of antibiotic sensitivity profiles among BCC endophthalmitis reports is the largest review to date and builds on prior reports of broad antibiotic resistances seen in BCC.

Availability of data and materials

The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are included in this published article and are also available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.



Anterior chamber


Amniotic membrane transplantation


Burkholderia cepacia Complex


Count fingers


Cataract extraction/intraocular lens placement


Chronic granulomatous disease


Choroidal neovascular membrane


Epiretinal membrane


Early Vitrectomy Study




Glaucoma drainage implant


Hand motion


Intraocular lens


Light perception




Not available


No light perception


Not tested


Neovascularization of the iris


Posterior chamber intraocular lens


Penetrating keratoplasty


per os Antibiotics


Pars plana lensectomy


Pars plana vitrectomy


Retinal detachment


Visual acuity


  1. Balkhy HH, Cunningham G, Francis C, Almuneef MA, Stevens G, Akkad N, Memish ZA (2005) A National Guard outbreak of Burkholderia cepacia infection and colonization secondary to intrinsic contamination of Albuterol nebulization solution. Am J Infect Control. 33(3):182–188

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Barry P, Cordovés L, Gardner S (2013) ESCRS guidelines for prevention and treatment of Endophthalmitis following cataract surgery: data. European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons, Dilemmas and Conclusions

    Google Scholar 

  3. Burns JL, Wadsworth CD, Barry JJ, Goodall CP (1996) Nucleotide sequence analysis of a gene from Burkholderia (Pseudomonas) cepacia encoding an outer membrane lipoprotein involved in multiple antibiotic resistance. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 40(2):307–313

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  4. Chen H, Zhang JJ, Xu YC, Ye JJ (2021) An unusual case report of Burkholderia cepacia endophthalmitis. Int J Ophthalmol 14(5):787–790.

  5. Cox AD, Wilkinson SG (1991) Ionizing groups in lipopolysaccharides of Pseudomonas cepacia in relation to antibiotic resistance. Mol Microbiol 5(3):641–646

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Deka A, Siddique MA, Saikia SP (2018) Burkholderia cepacia Endophthalmitis: An Unusual Presentation. J Ophthalmic Vis Res 13(4):504–507

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  7. Deb AK, Chavan P, Kaliaperumal S, Sistla S, Madigubba H, Sarkar S, Neena A (2022) Clinical profile, visual outcome and root cause analysis of post-operative cluster endophthalmitis due to Burkholderia cepacia complex. Indian J Ophthalmol 70(1):164–170

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Del Piero E, Pennett M, Leopold I (1985) Pseudomonas cepacia endophthalmitis. Ann Ophthalmol 17(12):753–756

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Desai M, Bühler T, Weller PH, Brown MR (1998) Increasing resistance of planktonic and biofilm cultures of Burkholderia cepacia to ciprofloxacin and ceftazidime during exponential growth. J Antimicrob Chemother 42(2):153–160

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Devanga Ragupathi NK, Veeraraghavan B (2019) Accurate identification and epidemiological characterization of Burkholderia cepacia complex: an update. Ann Clin Microbiol Antimicrob 18(1):7

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  11. Eser I, Altan T, Stahl JE, Aydin MD, Inan N, Kapran Z, Yilmaz OF (2006) Two cases of Burkholderia cepacia endophthalmitis. Br J Ophthalmol 90(9):1211

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  12. Lalitha P, Das M, Purva PS, Karpagam R, Geetha M, Lakshmi Priya J, Naresh BK (2014) Postoperative endophthalmitis due to Burkholderia cepacia complex from contaminated anaesthetic eye drops. Br J Ophthalmol 98(11):1498–1502

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Lama M, Chanakya PP, Khamari B, Peketi ASK, Kumar P, Nagaraja V, Pradeep BE. Genomic and phylogenetic analysis of a multi drug resistant Burkholderia contaminans strain isolated from a patient with ocular infection. J Global Antimicrobial Resistance. 2021

  14. Lind C, Olsen K, Angelsen NK, Krefting EA, Fossen K, Gravningen K, Bertelsen G (2021) Clinical course, treatment and visual outcome of an outbreak of Burkholderia contaminans endophthalmitis following cataract surgery. J Ophthalmic Inflamm Infect. 11(1):12

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  15. Lipuma JJ (2005) Update on the Burkholderia cepacia complex. Curr Opin Pulm Med 11(6):528–533

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. Okonkwo ON, Hassan AO, Akanbi T. Burkholderia cepacia: A Cause of Post-Operative Endophthalmitis. J Eye Vision. 2019;2(1:3)

  17. Okonkwo ON, Hassan AO, Oderinlo O, Gyasi ME (2018) Burkholderia cepacia, a cause of post pars plana vitrectomy silicone oil related endophthalmitis: clinico-pathological presentation and outcome of management. Int J Retina Vitreous 4:35

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  18. Okonkwo ON, Sibanda D, Akanbi T, Hassan AO (2020) Post intravitreal bevacizumab recurrent Burkholderia cepacia endophthalmitis treated with clear lens extraction in an African. Am J Ophthalmol Case Rep 20:100977

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  19. Ornek K, Ozdemir M, Ergin A (2009) Burkholderia cepacia keratitis with endophthalmitis. J Med Microbiol 58(Pt 11):1517–1518

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. Pathengay A, Raju B, Sharma S, Das T (2005) Recurrent endophthalmitis caused by Burkholderia cepacia. Eye (Lond) 19(3):358–359

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. Peeters E, Nelis HJ, Coenye T (2009) In vitro activity of ceftazidime, ciprofloxacin, meropenem, minocycline, tobramycin and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole against planktonic and sessile Burkholderia cepacia complex bacteria. J Antimicrob Chemother 64(4):801–809

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. Poirel L, Rodriguez-Martinez JM, Plésiat P, Nordmann P (2009) Naturally occurring Class A ss-lactamases from the Burkholderia cepacia complex. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 53(3):876–882

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. Reddy JC, Tibbetts MD, Hammersmith KM, Nagra PK, Rapuano CJ (2013) Successful management of Burkholderia cepacia keratitis after LASIK. J Refract Surg 29(1):8–9

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. Relhan N, Flynn HW. Endophthalmitis Caused by Gram-Negative Bacteria. In: Endophthalmitis. Singapore: Springer Singapore; 2017:185–198

  25. Results of the Endophthalmitis Vitrectomy Study (1995) A randomized trial of immediate vitrectomy and of intravenous antibiotics for the treatment of postoperative bacterial endophthalmitis. Endophthalmitis Vitrectomy Study Group Arch Ophthalmol 113(12):1479–1496

    Google Scholar 

  26. Sachdeva V, Pathengay A, Joseph J, Sharma S, Das T (2011) Burkholderia cepacia endophthalmitis: clinico-microbiologic profile and outcomes. Retina 31(9):1801–1805

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  27. Saffra N, Moriarty E. Burkholderia cepacia endophthalmitis, in a penicillin allergic patient, following a ranibizumab injection. BMJ Case Rep. 2014;2014

  28. Sengillo JD, Chen Y, Perez Garcia D, Schwartz SG, Grzybowski A, Flynn HW Jr (2020) Postoperative Endophthalmitis and Toxic Anterior Segment Syndrome Prophylaxis: 2020 Update. Ann Transl Med 8(22):1548

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  29. Shirodkar AR, Pathengay A, Flynn HW Jr, Albini TA, Berrocal AM, Davis JL, Miller D (2012) Delayed- Versus Acute-Onset Endophthalmitis After Cataract Surgery. Am J Ophthalmol. 153(3):391-398 e392

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  30. Spilker T, Kratholm J, Depoorter E, Vandamme P, LiPuma JJ (2022) Outbreak of Burkholderia contaminans endophthalmitis traced to a clinic ventilation system. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 43(11):1705–1707

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  31. Sunenshine R, Schultz M, Lawrence MG, Shin S, Jensen B, Zubairi S, Srinivasan A (2009) An outbreak of postoperative gram-negative bacterial endophthalmitis associated with contaminated trypan blue ophthalmic solution. Clin Infect Dis. 48(11):1580–1583

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  32. Tavares M, Kozak M, Balola A, Coutinho CP, Godinho CP, Hassan AA, . . . Sá-Correia I. Adaptation and Survival of Burkholderia cepacia and B. contaminans during Long-Term Incubation in Saline Solutions Containing Benzalkonium Chloride. Front Bioengineering Biotechnol. 2020;8(630)

  33. Tavares M, Kozak M, Balola A, Sá-Correia I. Burkholderia cepacia complex Bacteria: a Feared Contamination Risk in Water-Based Pharmaceutical Products. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2020;33(3)

  34. Uehlinger S, Schwager S, Bernier SP, Riedel K, Nguyen DT, Sokol PA, Eberl L (2009) Identification of specific and universal virulence factors in Burkholderia cenocepacia strains by using multiple infection hosts. Infect Immun 77(9):4102–4110

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  35. W. David Irvine, Harry W. Flynn J, Miller; D, Pflugfelder; SC. Endophthalmitis Caused by Gram-Negative Organisms. Arch Ophthalmology. 1992;110

  36. Zhang L, Li X-Z, Poole K (2001) Fluoroquinolone susceptibilities of efflux-mediated multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia and Burkholderia cepacia. J Antimicrob Chemother 48(4):549–552

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references


Not applicable.


This study was supported in part by an unrestricted grant from Research to Prevent Blindness (New York, New York), NIH Center Core Grant P30EY014801 (Bethesda, Maryland), and the Department of Defense (DOG Grant #W81XWH-09–1-0675) (Washington, D.C.). This work received support from the Macula Foundation. The sponsor(s) or funding organization(s) had no role in the design or conduct of this study.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



FAB was the primary author of the manuscript and conducted the literature review. HWF supervised the production of this manuscript. NAY and HWF were involved in the care of the cases reported. DM was responsible for the culture and susceptibility data. JDS, HKRH, PGI assisted with the drafting of the manuscript. All authors reviewed and approved the final manuscript.

Authors’ information

FAB: Is currently an ophthalmology resident at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute with plans to pursue a fellowship in vitreoretinal surgery. JDS: Graduated residency from Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and is currently a vitreoretinal surgery fellow at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. HKRH: Is a medical student at the University of Miami and will be pursuing an ophthalmology residency. PGI: Graduated from medical retina and clinical research fellowship at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and is currently a vitreoretinal surgery fellow at the New England Eye Center. DM: Is Research Professor of Ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and the Scientific Director of the Ocular Microbiology Laboratory at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. NAY: Is Associate Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology and vitreoretinal surgeon at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. HWF: Is Professor of Ophthalmology and the J Donald M Gass Chair in Chair in Ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Harry W. Flynn.

Ethics declarations

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Per DHHS policies as determined by the HSRO at the University of Miami, a retrospective case series of 3 patients or fewer does not meet the DHHS standard of generalizable knowledge, and therefore does not qualify the definition of research. This study was thus exempt IRB approval. Documentation attached.

Consent for publication

All patients signed institutional consent forms.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Beca, F.A., Sengillo, J.D., Robles-Holmes, H.K. et al. Endophthalmitis caused by Burkholderia cepacia complex (BCC): clinical characteristics, antibiotic susceptibilities, and treatment outcomes. J Ophthal Inflamm Infect 13, 48 (2023).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI: