Testing for Pseudomonas aeruginosa in water is extremely important. This aerobic bacterium (pseudomonas aeruginosa) is quite common in this and other environments, and has a very high capacity to colonize other environments. It is distinguished by its unusual activity and “survivability” and therefore represents a potentially very high hazard (especially in facilities such as hospitals). Although this Gram-negative bacterium rarely attacks healthy and resistant organisms, even small immunological “defects” may cause very dangerous infections.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa can be found not only in the aquatic environment, but also on the surface of plants and on the ground. The most “sensitive” places are those that are the borderline between water and other environment, so we can often identify these bacteria e.g. on bathroom fittings.
The bacterium is undemanding, thriving in a variety of thermal conditions (15 to 30 degrees Celsius, but it can also survive at higher temperatures). It can survive in extreme conditions, even if it lacks oxygen. It shows great resistance to various chemical compounds (as long as it can find some nitrogen and carbon, for example). The bacterium is able to grow so much because it produces a biofilm, which contains various compounds that allow it to grow rapidly. Unfortunately, this makes it resistant to many antibiotics, which means it is quite difficult to control a Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection. The bacteria pose a threat not only in hospitals, they can also become active in water treatment plants. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is also able to “survive” in distilled water.
Characteristics of Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria are very distinctive. In particular, the smell they produce can be surprising – it is associated with flowers or fruits. Also unique are the pigments associated with these bacteria: different, intense colors (usually green-blue).
Infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa
The range of infections that these bacteria can cause is very wide and potentially – dangerous, even very dangerous. It is not only infections such as those of the middle and external ear, but also a wide range of infections of the respiratory system (including pneumonia), nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, osteoarticular and urinary tract. It is also possible to cause myocarditis, or meningitis. Pseudomonas aeruginosa can also seriously infect the eye cornea, and cause dermatological problems. However, it is important to note again that such serious consequences of infection with the bacterium affect people who are immunocompromised and struggling with such diseases and medical problems as cancer and cystic fibrosis, AIDS, and burns.
According to various data, Pseudomonas aeruginosa is responsible for up to one tenth of hospital infections, and as it is a bacterium that shows significant activity and resistance, tests aimed at demonstrating its “pathological” presence in various aquatic environments (and not only) especially in hospitals, are an indispensable part of maintaining an optimal level of safety of these environments.