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What Is Involved in Pseudomonas Testing?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 28 June 2014
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Pseudomonas testing can check for presence of bacteria in this genus and provide more information about the specific species involved. The best test to use can depend on the type of sample and why testing has been requested. Labs offering this service can handle samples from patients with suspected infections, food products that need to be tested for quality control, and the natural environment. Kits are also available to allow people to perform their own testing.

The first step in Pseudomonas testing is incubation of the sample to encourage the bacteria to grow. This can take 48 hours to a week to generate a colony large enough for tests. Scrapings from this colony can be examined under a microscope to characterize their physical features. They can also be stained to see how they behave, and viewed under a fluorescent filter to determine if they light up. All of these steps can provide information to rule various bacteria in or out.

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It is also possible to combine a sample that may contain Pseudomonas with a chemical reactant. This can trigger a response that can indicate the sample is positive for bacteria. Chemical tags be mixed with a rinse mixture poured over a plated sample in Pseudomonas testing to fix to the bacteria and make it visible. Some testing is designed for high speed processing, like quality checks in food processing facility to make sure no Pseudomonas are present in samples. Technicians can use a kit to incubate samples from individual batches and check them for this and other contaminants.

Another type of Pseudomonas testing is aimed not at determining whether the bacteria are present, but finding out which antibiotics they respond to. These organisms are ubiquitous in the environment and are commonly resistant to antibacterial therapies. Technicians can grow the bacteria in culture, add samples of antibiotics, and see which ones kill the Pseudomonas. The results of sensitivity testing can help determine which medications to give people with infections.

People ordering Pseudomonas testing can determine which option is most suitable for their needs in a given situation. Standardized testing is used to ensure consistent, even results. Labs may automatically repeat tests to confirm, and can also send out questioned samples to a third party for evaluation. The goal is to avoid false positives or negatives, to reduce the risk that people will receive treatments they don’t need, or get treatment too late.

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