What are the different types of Pseudomonas infections?

The Pseudomonas genus of bacteria are common environmental bacteria, and the most important Pseudomonas in medical matters, Pseudomonas aeruginosa , live in about half of the human population. A wide range of Pseudomonas infections affect humans and other animals, including pneumonia, urinary tract infections, heart infections, ear infections, and joint infections. Although the genus is ubiquitous in the environment, the bacteria tend to be opportunistic pathogens, meaning they generally become dangerous only in sick people.

Pseudomonas species like to live in moist areas, such as soil or water. They also survive well in sinks, hot tubs, and swimming pools that have low levels of chlorine. When they infect people, they live in the intestines, in the ears, or on the skin.

The most important species from the medical point of view, Pseudomonas aeruginosa It is resistant to salt, some antiseptics and some antibiotics. Pseudomonas aeruginosa it can also survive on limited nutrients. All of these features mean that pseudomonas infections are an important part of hospital-acquired infections.

The infections by Pseudomonas aeruginosa they are the leading cause of life-threatening pneumonia in hospitalized patients on a ventilator or in intensive care. This type of bacteria is also a major cause of infection in patients with cystic fibrosis, cancer, and burns, with about half of affected patients dying from the infection. Other types of hospital-acquired Pseudomonas infections are urinary tract infections, surgical incision infections, and blood poisoning. Sometimes bacteria that have invaded the blood can spread to the bone and joints and cause infection. The bacteria can also cause heart infections from intravenous drug use or heart valve surgery.

Outside the hospital, pseudomonas infections are the most common cause of ear infections and corneal ulcers. The bacteria can also infect the eyes of contact lens wearers and is a common cause of urinary tract infections. Pseudomonas aeruginosa It can also infect soft tissues, joints, or bone in the body when introduced through puncture wounds. Bacteria in improperly disinfected water can also cause "swimmer's ear," or a condition called folliculitis, which infects hair follicles in the skin, usually in people who use hot tubs.

Some bacterial species that were previously included in the genus Pseudomonas have been renamed due to genetic classification systems. These bacteria may still be referred to as Pseudomonas, but are more correctly known by their new names. For example, the name Burkholderia has replaced Pseudomonas in some medically relevant species such as Burkolderia cepacia Y Burkolderia pseudomallei . These bacteria also cause opportunistic infections.

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