Pseudomonas Aeruginosa – one bacterium, many diseases 7th March 2024 – Tags: , , , , ,

Have you heard of pseudomonas aeruginosa? We often receive information about bacterial infections in the hospital. Despite the maintenance of proper conditions of cleanliness, it is still possible for microorganisms to appear in a particular place. We can call a hospital infection such an infection that develops during your stay or after you leave the hospital. One of the bacteria that causes such a condition is the blue pus bacillus, the characteristics of which we will try to present in today’s article. Where does this bacterium attack, and how can we reduce the risk of infection?

Characteristics of pseudomonas:

Blue pus bacillus is scientifically known as Pseudomonas aeruginosa. It is a gram negative, aerobic and non-spore forming bacterium. It belongs to the genus Pseudomonas, which are most commonly found in the environment in water and soil. However, the difficulty in treating infections with this bacterium is that the bacilli are constantly looking for new solutions to avoid the therapeutic effect of antibiotics. This process is called antibiotic resistance, which occurs precisely when the bacterium no longer responds to a given antibiotic.
Infections with P. aeruginosa are quite common. However, a healthy human body easily fights such an infection right from the start. More serious infections occur mainly in people with weakened immune systems.

pseudomonas aeruginosa_01
The photo shows isolated bacterial colonies seeded on an agar medium

What are the causes of weakened immunity?

  • Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus
  • Tumors
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Diabetes
  • HIV infection
  • Kidney and liver diseases
  • And many other disease factors

Where does the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa attack?

Pseudomonas aeruginosa attacks many different zones of our body. The most common sites of infection are listed below:

  • Blood infection – septicemia
  • Ear infection
  • Infection of the eye
  • Lung infection – pneumonia
  • Skin infection – cellulitis
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Infections of the digestive system

How is the bacterium transmitted?

One of the places where the blue pus bacillus most often appears is in hospitals. The bacterium is often transmitted to people through contact with water or soil that contains the pathogens in question. In addition, resistant strains of the bacteria can be transmitted through contact with dirty hands, equipment or surfaces.

How can infection be avoided?

Patients and medical professionals alike should strive to have the safest conditions in hospital units. Collectively, we can try to do this by doing the following:

  • Maintain hand hygiene to avoid further transmission of bacteria – hands should be washed according to given procedures, in addition, it is a good idea to disinfect hands with an alcohol-based disinfectant
  • Remind medical staff and caregivers to always wash their hands before contact with patients or medical instruments
  • Keep rooms clean by washing rooms daily according to procedures
The photo shows an X-ray image showing changes in the lungs caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection.
hand hygiene
One of the most important rules to reduce bacterial infections is proper hand washing.

How are infections with the bacterium treated?

Most commonly, antibiotics are prescribed for P. aeruginosa infection, such as:

  • Cephalosporins e.g. ceftriaxone
  • Aminoglycosides e.g. gentamicin
  • Fluoroquinolones e.g. ciprofloxacin

Treatment is implemented after appropriate tests are performed to detect infection. Mainly these are microbiological tests, which are based on the performance of an antibiogram.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa antibiogram
The picture shows an antibiogram performed for Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Based on it, it is possible to confirm a given infection.