What are the signs and symptoms of P aeruginosa infection?

Updated: Dec 17, 2018
  • Author: Selina SP Chen, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Pseudomonas aeruginosa is so ubiquitous in the hospital environment that distinguishing infection from colonization is often difficult. Furthermore, symptoms are often identical to those observed in other gram-negative infections. As a result, clinical evidence of infection should accompany any culture of the organism at a potential infection site. P aeruginosa reportedly emits a characteristic sweet odor. P aeruginosa is responsible for a broad spectrum of disease, including the following types of infections:

  • AIDS-related infections

  • Bacteremia and sepsis

    • Fever is often the initial symptom. Some patients may also present with tachypnea or tachycardia.

    • Hypotension and shock may develop.

    • Jaundice may occur.

    • Suspect pseudomonal bacteremia in individuals who are immunocompromised (including neonates), who have an extended hospitalization, who have received prolonged antibiotic administration or multiple antibiotics, or who have indwelling catheters.

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