Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection, symptoms and treatment (2023)

Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection, symptoms and treatment (1)

In this article, the pathogen control experts at Legionella Control International discuss the Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterium, how it infects people, how to recognize typical symptoms after infection, and what treatment options are available.

Legionella and Pseudomonas

Legionnaires' disease has become much more well known and grabbed headlines in recent years as cases increase around the world.

The disease can be life-threatening and is caused by Legionella bacteria.

Increased awareness is a good thing, as it means we can all work to prevent bacteria from colonizing artificial water systems and causing serious illness.

Unfortunately, Legionella isn't the only waterborne bacterium that can be dangerous.

People should also be aware of other bacteria and the dangers they pose.

Types of waterborne bacteria that can cause health problems

In addition to legionella, other waterborne pathogens are also of concern.

Some facilities are more at risk than others, most commonly hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Pseudomonas is one of the most worrisome.

mycobacteriais another, along withstenotrophomone maltofila.

We suspect that not many people have heard of them.

(Video) Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection

Let's use this article to examine Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Let's find out what it is and how people can get infected with it.

We will also look at the various symptoms that infected people experience, along with the available treatments for the infection.

¿Era Pseudomonas aeruginosa?

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacterium.

It thrives in stagnant water and soil, so it exists in the world around us.

It is also quite hardy and capable of surviving in the harshest of conditions and therefore can easily infect both plants and humans.

Most people will not have serious problems if they get Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

However, this does not apply if a person has a weaker immune system or other health problems.

Therefore, it is understandable that Pseudomonas aeruginosa is seen as an opportunist.

Any time it enters someone's immune system that cannot easily fight the infection, it can threaten that person's life.

Who is most at risk for serious Pseudomonas infection?

We have seen many people at risk who have been severely affected by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, among the most vulnerable are:

  • Brandopfer
  • people with cancer
  • People suffering from one or more chronic diseases.
  • Premature babies cared for in neonatal clinics

What types of diseases can Pseudomonas aeruginosa cause?

You should know that Legionella bacteria can cause a form of pneumonia if inhaled through mist or fine droplets of water, such as an aerosol.

(Video) Treatment of Resistant Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Infections

However, Pseudomonas aeruginosa is in many ways more adept at causing disease.

Here we look at the different types of infections it can trigger.

As you will see, the infection depends on the route of entry of the bacteria to enter the body.

We will also go over the most likely symptoms someone would experience in each case.

1: Inhaled into the lungs

This is more the case in hospitals. Patients can inhale the bacteria on ventilators, for example. Since it attacks lung tissue, it can lead to pneumonia.

Symptoms to watch out for:

Coughing is one of the telltale symptoms of pneumonia. The affected patient may also develop fever and chills. It doesn't necessarily have to come with a productive cough. Chest pain may also occur.

2: Entry into the body through a skin wound or burn

Any type of skin damage, e.g. B. a cut or burn, Pseudomonas aeruginosa can provide a point of entry. The damage can also be as simple as inserting a needle into the arm for a blood or IV test. When this happens, the bacteria can cause infections in the blood. Bone infections can also occur.

The bacteria can also find a portal of entry through catheters, resulting in aUrinary tract infectionincluding.

Symptoms to watch out for:

Any infected burn or cut is likely to produce pus. However, in the case of an infection caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, you will see greenish or blue pus.

3: Get into the eyes

This is most commonly done through contact lenses. All lenses must be sterilized and properly cared for in order to use them safely. If this is not the case, there is a chance that the bacteria is affecting one or both eyes. This can lead to serious infections.

Symptoms to watch out for:

Vision may be affected if the infection takes hold. The affected eye is likely to be sore, and pus may also be seen.

4: It thrives in wet or humid areas

Many people enjoy using swimming pools or soaking in a Jacuzzi. These must be kept scrupulously clean in order to be able to use them safely. The same goes for spas. Someone who goes into water or is exposed to mist or spray may experience Pseudomonas aeruginosa as a rash. Swimmer's ear can also occur when bacteria enter the ear and cause otitis.

Symptoms to watch out for:

maybe surprising,swimmer's earcan cause headaches. The affected ear also turns red and may itch. Fluid may also leak, and the person may feel that their ear is closed. You may also find it more difficult to hear in that ear.

(Video) Pseudomonas aeruginosa - an Osmosis Preview

What about other possible pseudomonas infections?

Anyone suffering from an infection of any kind, including one caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, is likely to develop a fever... Lethargy is also common.

The biggest threat from Pseudomonas aeruginosa is believed to be entering the bloodstream.

When this occurs it can spread uncontrollably throughout the body and cause blood poisoning or blood is also known as sepsis and is a much more serious infection.

Typical symptoms are high fever, confusion, and shock.

If this condition is suspected, urgent medical attention should always be sought.

Does Pseudomonas aeruginosa represent a great challenge for hospitals?

Those responsible for infection control in hospitals prioritize Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

They recognize that an outbreak can have serious consequences for those involved.

There have been several outbreaks in UK hospitals in the past.

Often the source of infection has been identified as contaminated water, either in sinks or drains.

In the UK, between 3,700 and 4,000 cases are reported to the Health Protection Agency each year.

Greater London has seen a higher incidence of infection than other areas, although it is not clear why.

Most of the cases involved the elderly or infants within the first 12 months of life.

One problem is that Pseudomonas aeruginosa can easily survive for days if transferred to all sorts of surfaces.

(Video) Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Infection, And Treatment (Antibiotic)

This makes it much easier for it to spread through a hospital or for someone to inadvertently catch it.

How can we treat Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections?

The sooner an infected person is treated, the better the potential outcome.

If a person at risk becomes infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, prompt treatment is critical for a successful outcome.

It is not clear what the mortality rate is from infections caused by this bacterium.

However, some studies point to rates reaching a third of all those infected.

The outcome may depend on how quickly the infection is determined to be caused by that bacterium.

It also depends on which part of the body is affected and how the bacteria entered the body.

As we found out, when it enters the bloodstream, the situation becomes much more urgent.

Antibiotics are the first line of treatment, although the bacteria appear to be at least partially resistant to many of them.

The type given would depend on the site of infection and the most appropriate antibiotic for it.

In some cases, tests are done to determine the best course of action, and one or more antibiotics may be given to fight the infection.

Provide a safe and clean environment.

Of course, it is important to make sure that all water sources are clean, safe, and treated when necessary.

Proper risk management, something Legionella Control International can help you with, is critical to everyone's safety.

(Video) Pseudomonas aeruginosa treatment

keep reading

For more information onPseudomonas aeruginosa

How can Legionella Control International help?

As risk management experts for Legionella and other waterborne pathogens such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Mycobacteria and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, we can help you develop a comprehensive Pseudomonas risk assessment and ongoing management plan, including City & City.

To learn more about how we can help, call us today.0330 223 36 86or contact us here...Contact Us


What is the best treatment for Pseudomonas aeruginosa? ›

Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections are generally treated with antibiotics.

How long does it take to clear a Pseudomonas infection? ›

Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteremia is a severe infection, often treated with long-course (~ 14 days) antibiotics.

What are 3 infections that are caused by the green bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa? ›

What diseases does Pseudomonas aeruginosa cause? It can cause pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and wound, ear, and bloodstream infections.

Is Pseudomonas very contagious? ›

Yes. Pseudomonas is contagious. Transmission is possible through contact with contaminated surfaces or equipment, and also the consumption of contaminated water or fruit and vegetables. It can also pass from person to person via contact with hands and skin.

How long does Pseudomonas aeruginosa last? ›

Table 1
Type of bacteriumDuration of persistence (range)Reference(s)
Pseudomonas aeruginosa6 hours – 16 months; on dry floor: 5 weeks[12, 16, 28, 52, 99, 103, 104]
Salmonella typhi6 hours – 4 weeks[90]
Salmonella typhimurium10 days – 4.2 years[15, 90, 105]
Salmonella spp.1 day[52]
24 more rows

Can you recover from Pseudomonas aeruginosa? ›

If you have a Pseudomonas infection, it can usually be treated effectively with antibiotics. But sometimes the infection can be difficult to clear completely. This is because many standard antibiotics don't work on Pseudomonas.

How serious is a Pseudomonas infection? ›

When the infections are elsewhere in the body, you may have a fever and feel tired. But all pseudomonas infections can make you very sick if they spread through the bloodstream (septicemia). A serious infection can cause symptoms of high fever, chills, confusion, and shock.

What happens if you get Pseudomonas aeruginosa? ›

Infections caused by pseudomonas

Pseudomonas can cause a variety of infections, including: pneumonia (chest infections) urinary tract infections. wound infections.

How does Pseudomonas make you feel? ›

When the infections are elsewhere in the body, you may have a fever and feel tired. But all pseudomonas infections can make you very sick if they spread through the bloodstream (septicemia). A serious infection can cause symptoms of high fever, chills, confusion, and shock.

Is Pseudomonas hard to treat? ›

Infection caused by this organism are difficult to treat because of the presence of its innate resistance to many antibiotics (β-lactam and penem group of antibiotics), and its ability to acquire further resistance mechanism to multiple class of antibiotics, including Beta-lactams, aminoglycosides and fluoroquinolones.

Can your body fight Pseudomonas? ›

It is difficult to treat people with Pseudomonas infections. The bacteria have long been notorious for their resistance to antibiotics. More recently, scientists have discovered that individual Pseudomonas bacteria differ considerably from one another, meaning we are not necessarily fighting a single foe.

How do you get rid of Pseudomonas? ›

Most minor Pseudomonas infections resolve either without treatment or after minimal treatment. If symptoms are mild or nonexistent, it is not necessary to treat the infection. In the case of swimmer's ear, rinsing the ear with vinegar can help. A doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic called polymyxin.

What is the most common risk factor for Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection? ›

Recent antibiotic use in the last 3 months. Repeated exacerbations of COPD requiring frequent glucocorticoid and/or antibiotic use. In patients with chronic lung disease who are taking corticosteroids, Pseudomonas is more common than in those with otherwise healthy lungs.

Where is Pseudomonas aeruginosa found in the body? ›

Pseudomonas aeruginosa commonly inhabits soil, water, and vegetation. It is found in the skin of some healthy persons and has been isolated from the throat (5 percent) and stool (3 percent) of nonhospitalized patients.

Should patients with Pseudomonas infection be isolated? ›

Although it is generally accepted that patients with MDR P. aeruginosa should be isolated with contact precautions, the duration of contact precautions and the means of surveillance is not well-defined.

Where do the most serious Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections occur? ›

Pseudomonas aeruginosa has emerged as an important pathogen during the past two decades. It causes between 10% and 20% of infections in most hospitals. Pseudomonas infection is especially prevalent among patients with burn wounds, cystic fibrosis, acute leukemia, organ transplants, and intravenous-drug addiction.

How fast does Pseudomonas aeruginosa spread? ›

P. aeruginosa takes 16–24 hours to grow from streaking onto plates and in rich medium. Growth on minimal medium can take longer depending on nutrient sources provided and concentration of the carbon source.

What are the stages of Pseudomonas? ›

The 3 stages of Pseudomonas infections are (1) bacterial attachment and colonization, (2) local infection, and (3) bloodstream dissemination and systemic disease.

Can Pseudomonas turn into sepsis? ›

Sepsis is a leading cause of mortality in burn patients. One of the major causes of sepsis in burn patients is Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

What is the first line treatment for Pseudomonas aeruginosa? ›

An aminoglycoside with a beta-lactam penicillin is usually considered to be the first line treatment.

How long does ciprofloxacin take to treat Pseudomonas? ›

The duration of therapy ranged from seven days to more than four months.

How does a person get Pseudomonas? ›

Pseudomonas is a germ found in the environment. It can occur in moist areas such as sinks or baths. It rarely causes illness outside a hospital or healthcare setting. If you have a weakened immune system, particularly if very young or older, you can be at risk from pseudomonas infection.

What are the three pseudomonas infection stages? ›

Pseudomonas species are both invasive and toxigenic. The 3 stages, according to Pollack (2000), are (1) bacterial attachment and colonization, (2) local infection, and (3) bloodstream dissemination and systemic disease.

Does Pseudomonas aeruginosa ever go away? ›

If you have a Pseudomonas infection, it can usually be treated effectively with antibiotics. But sometimes the infection can be difficult to clear completely.

Is Pseudomonas aeruginosa serious? ›

P. aeruginosa is a serious cause of infection with reported rates of mortality being up to 61%. Several studies evidenced a correlation between hospital mortality due to P. aeruginosa bloodstream infections and an inappropriate antimicrobial treatment.

What is the drug of choice for Pseudomonas aeruginosa? ›

Medication Summary

Pseudomonas infection can be treated with a combination of an antipseudomonal beta-lactam (eg, penicillin or cephalosporin) and an aminoglycoside. Carbapenems (eg, imipenem, meropenem) with antipseudomonal quinolones may be used in conjunction with an aminoglycoside.

Who is most at risk of a Pseudomonas infection? ›

Recent antibiotic use in the last 3 months. Repeated exacerbations of COPD requiring frequent glucocorticoid and/or antibiotic use. In patients with chronic lung disease who are taking corticosteroids, Pseudomonas is more common than in those with otherwise healthy lungs.


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