The Epidemiology, Pathogenesis and Treatment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Infections
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- Driscoll, J.A., Brody, S.L. & Kollef, M.H. Drugs (2007) 67: 351. doi:10.2165/00003495-200767030-00003
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Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an important bacterial pathogen, particularly as a cause of infections in hospitalised patients, immunocompromised hosts and patients with cystic fibrosis. Surveillance of nosocomial P. aeruginosa infections has revealed trends of increasing antimicrobial resistance, including carbapenem resistance and multidrug resistance. Mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance include multidrug efflux pumps, β-lactamases and downregulation of outer membrane porins. Mechanisms of virulence include secreted toxins and the ability to form biofilms. The effective treatment of infections caused by P. aeruginosa includes prevention when possible, source control measures as necessary and prompt administration of appropriate antibacterial agents. Antibacterial de-escalation should be pursued in patients with an appropriate clinical response, especially when antibacterial susceptibilities are known. Multidrug-resistant P. aeruginosa may require treatment with less commonly used antibacterials (e.g. colistin), but newer anti-pseudomonal antibacterials are expected to be available in the near future.