Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a gram-negative bacillus found in humid environments and, therefore, some cosmetic products with a high water content are susceptible to hosting these bacteria, allowing them to proliferate and infect end users. More severe infections occur in people who are already hospitalized with another illness or condition, or people who have a weak immune system.
Infections caused by this bacterium are characterized by inflammations. If this infection occurs in the lungs or other vital organs, it can prove to be fatal. Diseases caused by it are pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and gastrointestinal infections.
Infections in the skin tend to be less severe than infections that occur in the blood or lungs. Specific symptoms depend on where the infection occurs:
A bacterial infection of the blood is called bacteremia. A blood infection is one of the most severe infections caused by pseudomonas.
Bacteremia with pseudomonas can also cause very low blood pressure, known as hemodynamic shock, which can lead to failure of other organs including the heart, kidneys, and liver.
Infection of the lungs is called pneumonia. Symptoms include:
When this bacterium infects the skin, it most often affects the hair follicles. This is called folliculitis. Symptoms may include:
An external ear canal infection may sometimes be caused by pseudomonas and result in “swimmer’s ear.” Symptoms may include:
Symptoms of an eye infection may include:
Pseudomonas infections can be very aggressive, particularly infections in the lungs or skin.
2. Adamo R, Sokol S, Soong G, Gomez MI, Prince A. Pseudomonas aeruginosa flagella activate airway epithelial cells through asialoGM1 and toll-like receptor 2 as well as toll-like receptor 5. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2004;30(5):627-34. [PubMed]
3. Afessa B, Green B. Bacterial pneumonia in hospitalized patients with HIV infection: the Pulmonary Complications, ICU Support, and Prognostic Factors of Hospitalized Patients with HIV (PIP) Study. Chest 2000;117(4):1017-22. [PubMed]
4. Aguado J, Arjona R, Valle R, Moreno J. Prolonged oral ciprofloxacin treatment of recalcitrant and severe osteomyelitis [Abstract 980]. 30th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Atranta.
5. Ahmad SI. Treatment of post-burns bacterial infections by bacteriophages, specifically ubiquitous Pseudomonas spp. notoriously resistant to antibiotics. Med Hypotheses 2002;58(4):327-31. [PubMed]