Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology Vol 201

Volume 201 of the series Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology pp 71-115


Risk Assessment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Water

  • Kristina D. MenaAffiliated withUniversity of Texas – Houston School of Public Health Email author 
  • , Charles P. Gerba

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Pseudomonads are a large group of free-living bacteria that live primarily in soil, seawater, and fresh water. They also colonize plants and animals, and are frequently found in home and clinical settings. Pseudomonads are highly versatile and can adapt to a wide range of habitats, and can even grow in distilled water. This adaptability accounts for their constant presence in the environment. They have an extensive impact on ecology, agriculture, and commerce. They are responsible for food spoilage and degradation of petroleum products and materials. In agriculture, pseudomonads rank among the most important plant pathogens. In normal healthy humans, they are responsible for eye and skin diseases. They also cause serious life-threatening illnesses in burn and surgical patients and in immunocompromised individuals. Contamination of recreational waters and tap water has been associated with outbreaks of Pseudomonas; however, the relative role water plays in the transmission of this bacterium to humans is still unclear. The goal of this review is to assess existing literature on the potential risks associated with waterborne Pseudomonas aeruginosa.