Pseudomonas aeruginosa groupRANK: Species group
TAXONOMY: Bacteria -> Proteobacteria -> Gammaproteobacteria -> Pseudomonadales -> Pseudomonadaceae -> Pseudomonas -> Pseudomonas aeruginosa group
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common gram-negative rod-shaped bacterium that can cause disease in plants and animals, including humans. A species of considerable medical importance, P. aeruginosa is a prototypical "multidrug resistant (MDR) pathogen" that is recognised for its ubiquity, its intrinsically advanced antibiotic resistance mechanisms, and its association with serious illnesses – especially nosocomial infections such as ventilator-associated pneumonia and various sepsis syndromes. The organism is considered opportunistic insofar as serious infection is often superimposed upon acute or chronic morbidity – most notably cystic fibrosis and traumatic burns – or found in immunocompromised individuals, but the organism does produce a range of clinically important infections in the immunocompetent and/or in situations where no pre-existing vulnerability is required e.g. hot tub folliculitis. Cystic fibrosis patients suffer from chronic bacterial infections and thick mucous in their lungs, due largely to a combination of microbial infections and resulting inflammation. A common pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can lay dormant in healthy individuals, becomes virulent in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients, and Cornell biological engineers think they might know why. They have shown that P. aeruginosa virulence is “turned on” when it feeds on a particular fermentation product called 2,3 butanediol, demonstrating a direct metabolic relationship between fermenting bacteria and P. aeruginosa. This understanding could lead to more effective treatments for cystic fibrosis patients; rather than the use of antibiotics, disrupting P. aeruginosa’s flow of preferred food could be key to preventing cystic fibrosis-related infections in the lungs. 2,3 butanediol promotes cross-feeding between P. aeruginosa and fermenting bacteria, including Enterobacter aerogenes, which makes 2,3 butanediol as a fermentation byproduct.