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Author: Brian Wu PhD. MD Candidate, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, USA; Chief Editor: Dr Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, November 2015.
Infection of the skin or soft tissues by Pseudomonas aeruginosa or other Pseudomonas species tend to be serious and complex because these bacteria are both invasive and toxigenic.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa can be commonly found on the skin, especially in the axillary and anogenital regions. However, healthy people do not normally develop Pseudomonas infection. Pseudomonas is considered to be opportunistic and more frequently causes disease in those who are immunocompromised.
Pseudomonas can be easily transmitted from hospital workers to their patients in absence of proper hand hygiene and is responsible for approximately 10% of all nosocomial infections.
Patients at higher risk for this infections include those with:
Signs and symptoms of Pseudomonas infection can vary widely depending upon the site of the infection, but can include:
Pseudomonas skin infections include:
The most common complication of a Pseudomonas skin or soft tissue infection is bacteraemia; this usually comes from contaminated intravenous fluids, drugs or antiseptics used during placement of an intravenous line.
Pseudomonas infections are suspected on physical examination when there is a a greenish or blackish, fruity-smelling discharge. They are confirmed by laboratory studies of cultures taken from the affected area.
Treatment is based on the site of the Pseudomonas infection and its severity. It may include:
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