Tuesday, February 5, 2013

TERM: Pseudomonas infection

Pseudomonas aeruginosa colonies on an agar plate
Pseudomonas infection: The infection is usually with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a "blue-green pus bacteria. Because it rarely causes disease in healthy persons, but infects those who are already sick or who have weakened immune systems, it is called an opportunistic pathogen. Opportunistic pathogens are organisms that do not ordinarily cause disease, but multiply freely in persons whose immune systems are weakened by illness or medication. Such persons are said to be immunocompromised. Patients with AIDS have an increased risk of developing serious pseudomonas infections.

Hospitalized patients are another highrisk group, because Pseudomonas aeruginosa is often found in hospitals. Infections that can be acquired in the hospital are sometimes called nosocomial infections. It also tends to infect those with indwelling catheters or on respirators. Infection with pseudomonas can lead to urinary tract infections, sepsis (blood stream infection), pneumonia, pharyngitis, and many other medical problems. Pseudomonas colonizes the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) and contributes to the chronic progressive pulmonary disease and death rate in CF.

Pseudomonas infections can be spread within hospitals by health care workers, medical equipment, sinks, disinfectant solutions, and food. These infections are a very serious problem in hospitals for two reasons. First, patients who are critically ill can die from a pseudomonas infection. Second, many Pseudomonas bacteria are resistant to certain antibiotics, which makes them difficult to treat.

Word List:
  • pus: a thick yellowish or greenish liquid that is produced in an infected wound
  • opportunistic: causing disease only under certain conditions, as when a person is already sick or has a weak immune system.
  • pathogen: any microorganism that produces disease.
  • acquired: to get something
  • immunocompromised: having a weak immune system due to disease or the use of certain medications.
  • nosocomial infection: an infection that is acquired in the hospital.
  • colonizes: to live or grow in large numbers in a particular area
Pronunciation:
= pseudomonas
= pus
= opportunistic
= pathogen
= acquired
= immunocompromised
= nosocomial
= colonize
= indwelling
= catheter
= sepsis
= pneumonia
= pharyngitis

Reference:
MedTerm.com - Pseudomonas Infection
Wikipedia - pseudomonas
WebMD.com - pseudomonas infection
Free Dictionary - Medical - pseudomonas infections
Medscape.com - pseudomonas infections