Vaccine Development and Passive Immunization for Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Critically Ill Patients: A Clinical Update

Jean-Louis Vincent


Future Microbiol. 2014;9(4):457-463. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the most common causes of nosocomial infection in intensive care unit patients and is independently associated with worse outcomes. Resistance of P. aeruginosa to antimicrobial agents is increasingly common and treatment of these infections is a growing challenge for intensivists. The development of methods to prevent infection, such as vaccines, is thus of considerable interest. Three agents currently show promise in this population of patients and are undergoing clinical evaluation; however, further vaccine targets are being discovered and more potential agents will likely be developed in the near future.


One of the earliest reports of Pseudomonas infection was made by Gessard in 1882 who isolated the bacterium from bandages covering a soldier's wounds,[1] and the genus name, Pseudomonas, first appeared in 1894. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is now recognized as one of the most common microorganisms in critically ill patients, especially in nosocomial infections.[2] Importantly, Pseudomonas infection is independently associated with worse outcomes in critically ill patients[3,4] and, with resistance of P. aeruginosa to antimicrobials becoming more common,[5] being able to prevent infection represents an important approach to tackling this problem.

The concept of developing a vaccine against P. aeruginosa is not new. VariouTs active and passive immunization vaccines have been developed over the past 50 years and some tested clinically in different groups of patients, notably those with cystic fibrosis[6–8] or burns patients;[9,10] however, none of the vaccines has yet been licensed for clinical use. Here, we will provide an update in this field specifically in relation to critically ill intensive care unit (ICU) patients.