What is Pseudomonas Bacteria?

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  • Written By: Adam Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 27 October 2015
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Pseudomonas bacteria are any bacteria of the Pseudomonas genus of gamma proteobacteria. This type of bacteria is often infectious and has many characteristics in common with other pathogenic bacteria. They occur very commonly in water and some types of plant seeds, and for this reason, were observed very early on in the history of microbiology. The name Pseudomonas literally means “false unit.”

Pseudomonas bacteria are rod-shaped like many other bacterial strains, and are Gram-negative. This means that when stained with a certain violet-red dye according to the Gram staining protocol, they do not retain the dye’s color after being washed. This fact gives important clues about the structure of the cell wall of these bacteria. It shows that it is resistant to certain types of antibiotics, which fact is proving to be increasingly relevant.

One type of Pseudomonas bacteria is the Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which is responsible for an increasing number of infections in hospital patients, particularly those suffering from cancer or severe burns. This opportunistic pathogen has very minimal nutritional requirements, evidenced by the fact that it has been found growing in distilled water. Its preferred temperature for growth is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees C), making it especially suited for infecting the tissues of the human body. It is important to note, though, that this bacterium is often found harmlessly on the skin and in the bodies of healthy persons.


Some kinds of Pseudomonas bacteria are also pathogenic to plant life. Many of these, interestingly enough, show a tendency to only infect certain plants in certain ways, and to use specific tactics in doing so. Even when not strictly a plant pathogen, these bacteria can affect agriculture in other ways, often causing problems in the cultivation of mushrooms.

Because of the infectious nature of these bacteria, they can actually be used to combat other agricultural pathogens. Since the 1980s, certain types of Pseudomonas bacteria, such as Pseudomonas fluorescens, have been applied directly to soils and seeds in order to prevent the growth of crop pathogens. This practice of deterring one type of pathogen with another is generally referred to as biocontrol. Another member of the Pseudomonas genus which has biocontrol properties is Pseudomonas chlororaphis, which itself produces an antibiotic which is active against certain fungi that attack plants. There is still much study to be done in the area of biocontrol, and Pseudomonas bacteria may yet prove to have additional helpful qualities.


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Post 13

My mom has pseudomonas in her lungs. Can anyone help? We are doing antibiotics but nothing has worked so far.

Post 12

Pseudomonas is a deadly bacteria. Though its commonly found everywhere and anywhere, it tends to attack those with low immune systems, and especially in an open wound.

If not treated with utmost care (yes, medicines and antibiotics are available), it eventually leads to the amputation of that part. I was amputated after contracting this bacteria at the hospital premises and eventually had to be amputated, as the bacteria was residing at a place, where the medicine was not available.

The doctor's negligence had caused a spasm on my arteries and veins and hence the antibiotics I was prescribed (though correct), never reached the site where it was residing. Eventually, two months later, I had an amputation.

Post 11

My father has it and also contracted it after a hospital stay for diabetic ulcers on his legs. His doctors used vancomycin and Zosyn via IV and it seems to be kicking the bacteria out of him.

Post 10

My homeopathic doctor is treating me for pseudomona. Homeopathic remedies attach the pseudomona shell and and then can easily destroy the bacteria. Anybody else feeling extreme fatigue? --Bernice

Post 9

my mom contracted pseudomonas aeruginosa at a clinic in San Jose Costa Rica. can someone help me with treatments that have worked?

Post 8

my jijaji has pseudomonas in his lungs. can anyone help? we are doing antibiotics but nothing has worked so far

Post 7

The over prescribing of antibiotics causes drug resistant superbugs. The simple solution is to do a culture of the wound. Then we will know how to treat it appropriately.

Post 6

I was told my cat has this. Bow did an indoor cat get this and is it possible I could get it? I just had one cat die in August (they said an infection of his lungs)maybe it was this?

Post 5

Has anyone else contracted pseudomonas twice? I got mine following double spinal fusion op Dec 06 during which a vein was severed. Four months of Ceftazidime intravenously but it returned in Sept. 07. I took nine months of Ciprofloxacin orally. Infection not returned (yet) but has left me with chronic pain, chronic fatigue and clinical depression.

Post 4

My mother just got out of the hospital from having back surgery and she now has this! How and what is this?

Post 3

my father has pseudomonas in his lungs. can anyone help? we are doing antibiotics but nothing has worked so far

Post 2

My 6-year old yellow lab contracted pseudomonas after surgery but wasn't treated for it until it was too late. Does that mean this bacteria is floating around their emergency and critical care clinic?

Post 1

My son is 8 months old and has pseudomonas aeruginosa in the throat. We tried with antibiotics such is gentamycin but its still present. Can someone give me any advice on what should i do?

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