Burkholderia cepacia complex (BCC): What is it and should you be testing for it?

Burkholderia cepacia has been in the news recently as it was thought to have contaminated up to 180 bottles of hair product, causing the production company to voluntarily recall the product.

What is Burkholderia cepacia?

Burkholderia cepacia is the name given to a group of bacteria that can be found in water and soil. These bacteria pose little risk to people that are healthy, however, they can cause infections in people with a weakened immune system or with other health problems. Burkholderia cepacia is also a known cause of infections in hospital patients and can cause serious respiratory infections.

Should you be testing for it?

As Burkholderia cepacia is often isolated from water, it has the potential to contaminate a wide range of environments, including cosmetic and personal care production lines and development laboratories. Despite the ubiquitous nature of Burkholderia cepacia and its ability to cause infections in people with weakened immune systems, it isn’t a requirement to test for it in cosmetics or personal care products before they go to the market. It is, however, an organism that you can test your products for, prior to releasing them to market, if you so wish.

Here at Melbec Microbiology, we provide a high-quality testing service for a wide range of microorganisms, including Burkholderia cepacia, to find out more, give us a call on 01706 214 492 or email us at info@melbecmicrobiology.co.uk.

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