Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Essay

1281 words - 5 pages

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a Gram-negative aerobic bacterium with a rod shape, belonging to the family Pseudomonadadaceae. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a free living bacterium commonly found in soil, water, and occasionally on the surfaces of plants and the normal flora of animals (Todar, 2008). It acts as an opportunistic pathogen of humans and will infect almost any compromised tissue causing a range of infections from urinary tract infections, bacteremia, and a variety of systemic infections; especially in those with a compromised immune system (Todar, 2008). The infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa can be frustrating to clinicians because of its resistance to antibiotics. Primarily a nosocomial pathogen, it is known to cause ten percent of hospital-acquired infections (Todar, 2008).
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is motile by means of a single polar flagellum used for adhesion and invasion during bacterial infection. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is omnipresent in soil and water or surfaces that come in contact with soil or water; as well as all manmade reservoirs. Its metabolism is always respiratory, but it will grow in the absence of oxygen if nitrous oxide is available to work as a respiratory electron acceptor (Todar, 2008). Its most favorable temperature for growth is thirty-seven degrees Celsius, but it can grow in temperatures as high as forty-two degrees (Medscape, 2009). In nature, Pseudomonas is a fast-swimming hearty bacterium because of its flagellum (Medscape, 2009). It has very simple nutritional requirements, making it easy to thrive almost anywhere. Organic growth factors are not required, yet it can use over seventy-five organic compounds for growth (Todar, 2008). Pseudomonas aeruginosa is tolerant of many conditions, including temperature, salts, weak antiseptics, and antibiotics; making it difficult to treat in the medical profession (Todar, 2008). Pseudomonas aeruginosa adapts well to its environment, it can grow in aerobic and achieves anaerobic growth with limited or no oxygen supply; as within jet fuel or in lungs layered with mucus. The physical traits of Pseudomonas make it a sturdy bacteria in the environment, and if given the opportunity, a highly virulent pathogen (medscape, 2009).
Identification on Pseudomonas aeruginosa is quite distinct in that the bacterium itself has an identifying odor and appearance. It often appears pearlescent when grown on agar, and gives off a grape-like or tortilla-like odor (Todar, 2008). When taken from its natural environment, such as soil and grown in a lab, it may produce three colony types; one type is a small rough colony, another has a fried-egg appearance, and another is a large flat and elevated colony. Cultures taken in a hospital or doctor’s office typically grow as smooth mucoid or slimy colonies (Todar, 2008). The slime or biofilm plays a role in the organism’s virulence and is sometimes found in intravenous catheters or the mucus production from a respiratory infection....

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