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What is Pseudomonas infection?

Bacterial infections caused by the species Pseudomonas are known as Pseudomonas infection. These bacteria are widely distributed in the environment making them a common infectious organism. There are about 200 species of Pseudomonas. But only three species are known to cause diseases in human beings, which are P. aeruginosa, P. mallei, and P. pseudomallei. Among all the species of Pseudomonas, P. aeruginosa is the most prevalent cause of infections in humans.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

The symptoms of Pseudomonas infection vary based on the body system affected, such as:

What are the main causes?

The following may predispose an individual to Pseudomonas infection:

  • Wounds from surgery or burns.
  • Use of devices like urinary catheters.
  • Individuals on a breathing machine.
  • Weakened immunity due to an underlying disease or immunosuppressant therapy.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

After a detailed history and physical examination, a tissue biopsy, complete blood count, chest X-ray, urine microscopy and culture are the common tests performed to diagnose the infection. The following diagnostic measures are useful in the detection of this bacterial infection:

  • Fluorescein test 
    The infected area will appear fluorescent when observed under Wood’s ultraviolet light
  • Pyocyanin formation 
    In most of the cases, pyocyanin is formed, which renders bluish-green colour to the pus.

The treatment of Pseudomonas infections includes:

  • Debridement (removal of the dead tissue) of the wound.
  • Immunotherapy which involves vaccination.
  • Medications like antibiotics. The following antibiotics are generally prescribed:
    • Carbenicillin
    • Tobramycin
    • Gentamicin
    • Silver sulfadiazine
    • Ciprofloxacin

The Pseudomonas infection can be prevented by:

  • Maintaining proper aseptic techniques.
  • Proper isolation procedures.
  • Adequate cleaning of catheters and other instruments.
  • Treating wounds with topical antibacterial creams and lotions.
  1. Medicines for Pseudomonas Infections

References

  1. Iglewski BH. Pseudomonas. In: Baron S, editor. Medical Microbiology. 4th edition. Galveston (TX): University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston; 1996. Chapter 27.
  2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Healthcare Settings
  3. Matteo Bassetti et al. How to manage Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections Drugs Context. 2018; 7: 212527. PMID: 29872449
  4. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; Urinary tract infections (UTIs).
  5. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; Ear infections.
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