Molecular screening for Pseudomonas aeruginosa is used to rapidly and accurately diagnose laboratory infections caused by this particular organism.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a widespread microbe in nature and is commonly found in humid environments, mainly in hospitals. It can colonize normal people by living as a saprophyte, but it can cause disease in people with immune problems. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a Gram-negative, mobile bacterium, about 0.6 x 2 µm in size, and can appear as single, in pairs, and occasionally in small chains.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa becomes pathogenic only when it enters areas where normal defense mechanisms are lacking, such as when the anatomical integrity of the mucous membranes and skin is broken due to tissue damage, when intravenous catheters or urinary catheters are used, or when there is neutropenia such as during chemotherapy.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa contaminates skin wounds and burns, creating blue-green pus. It causes meningitis when it is iatrogenically introduced to the CSF during lumbar puncture, and urinary tract infection when it is inserted with catheters or other medical instruments into the urinary tract. Respiratory tract infection, especially from infected respirators, leads to necrotic pneumonia. The bacterium is often found in mild external otitis of swimmers, but it can cause malignant external otitis in diabetic patients. Infection of the eye, which can lead to its rapid destruction, occurs more often after an injury or surgery. In infants or weakened organisms, Pseudomonas aeruginosa can invade the bloodstream and lead to fatal septicemia. This is usually the case in patients with leukemia or lymphoma who receive antineoplastic drugs or radiation and in patients with severe burns. In most infections involving Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the clinical symptoms, and signs are nonspecific and are related to the affected organ. Often, septicemia due to Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes hemorrhagic necrosis of the skin called ecthyma gangrenosum.
Clinically significant infections of Pseudomonas aeruginosa should not be treated with a single drug, because bacteria can rapidly develop antibiotic resistance. The most commonly used antibiotics against Pseudomonas aeruginosa are ticarcillin or piperacillin in combination with an aminoglycoside, usually tobramycin. Other medications active against Pseudomonas aeruginosa include aztreonam, imipenem, and newer quinolones, including ciprofloxacin. Of the newer cephalosporins, ceftazidime, and cefoperazone are active against Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.