For answers to commonly asked questions about Pseudomonas aeruginosa, please visit our frequently asked questions section.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a Gram-negative bacterium that is noted for its environmental versatility, ability to cause disease in particular susceptible individuals, and its resistance to antibiotics. The most serious complication of cystic fibrosis is respiratory tract infection by the ubiquitous bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Cancer and burn patients also commonly suffer serious infections by this organism, as do certain other individuals with immune systems deficiencies. Unlike many environmental bacteria, P. aeruginosa has a remarkable capacity to cause disease in susceptible hosts. It has the ability to adapt to and thrive in many ecological niches, from water and soil to plant and animal tissues. The bacterium is capable of utilizing a wide range of organic compounds as food sources, thus giving it an exceptional ability to colonize ecological niches where nutrients are limited. P. aeruginosa can produce a number of toxic proteins which not only cause extensive tissue damage, but also interfere with the human immune system's defense mechanisms. These proteins range from potent toxins that enter and kill host cells at or near the site of colonization to degradative enzymes that permanently disrupt the cell membranes and connective tissues in various organs. This bacterium is also noted for its resistance to many antibiotics. P. aeruginosa is widely studied by scientists who are interested in not only its ability to cause disease and resist antibiotics, but also its metabolic capability and environmental versatility. Analysis of its genome sequence has identified genes involved in locomotion, attachment, transport and utilization of nutrients, antibiotic efflux, and systems involved in sensing and responding to environmental changes.A major interest of pharmaceutical companies, such as Chiron*, is to learn more about the genes of P. aeruginosa and other disease-causing bacteria in order to better understand the physiology of these organisms. These insights will be used to develop new antibacterial drugs to successfully treat infections by bacteria like P. aeruginosa that are resistant to many of today’s antibiotics. For answers to commonly asked questions about Pseudomonas aeruginosa, please visit our frequently asked questions section.
* PathoGenesis Corporation, who played a major role in sequencing the first P. aeruginosa genome, is now a part of Chiron.