Monday, January 26, 2009

Pseudomonas aeruginosa - are you at risk?

The bacteria type that killed Brazilian model Mariana Bridi is so common it can be found in ordinary soil, water and generally in cities and other artificial (even oxygen-free) environments.
You can get it by using hot-tubs (key symptoms is a skin rash), and if it infects lungs, kidneys or the urinary tract (this was the case with Bridi) the results can be fatal.

The bacteria is especially troublesome for its ressistance to antibiotics |(hence it also occurs on surgical equipment in hospitals.

Antibiotics that have activity against P. aeruginosa include:

* aminoglycosides (gentamicin, amikacin, tobramycin);
* quinolones (ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin but not moxifloxacin)
* cephalosporins (ceftazidime, cefepime, cefpirome, but not cefuroxime, ceftriaxone, cefotaxime)
* ureidopenicillins (piperacillin, ticarcillin: P. aeruginosa is intrinsically resistant to all other penicillins)
* carbapenems (meropenem, imipenem, but not ertapenem)
* polymyxins (polymyxin B and colistin)[26]
* monobactams (aztreonam)

These antibiotics must all be given by injection, with the exception of fluoroquinolones and of aerosolized tobramycin.
clipped from
P. aeruginosa on an XLD agar plate.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common bacterium which can cause diseases in animals, including humans. It is found in soil, water, most man-made environments throughout the world. It thrives not only in normal atmospheres, but also with little oxygen, and has thus colonised many natural and artificial environments. It uses a wide range of organic material for food; in animals, the versatility enables the organism to infect damaged tissues or people with reduced immunity. The symptoms of such infections are generalised inflammation and sepsis. If such colonisations occur in critical body organs such as the lungs, the urinary tract, and kidneys, the results can be fatal.[1] Because it thrives on moist surfaces, it is also found on and in medical equipment including catheters, causing cross infections in hospitals and clinics. It is also implicated in hot-tub rash, a form of dermatitis associated with poor hygiene and low maintenance of hot tubs.

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