Environmental Burkholderia pseudomallei isolated from sandy soil at Castle Hill, Townsville, in the dry tropic region of Queensland, Australia, was inoculated into sterile-soil laboratory microcosms subjected to variable soil moisture. Survival and sublethal injury of the B. pseudomallei strain were monitored by recovery using culture-based methods. Soil extraction buffer yielded higher recoveries as an extraction agent than sterile distilled water. B. pseudomallei was not recoverable when inoculated into desiccated soil but remained recoverable from moist soil subjected to 91 days desiccation and showed a growth response to increased soil moisture over at least 113 days. Results indicate that endemic dry tropic soil may act as a reservoir during the dry season, with an increase in cell number and potential for mobilization from soil into water in the wet season
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