Ecology and Epidemiology of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

  • Konrad Botzenhart
  • Gerd Döring
Part of the Infectious Agents and Pathogenesis book series (IAPA)

Abstract

The first description of Pseudomonas aeruginosa as a distinct bacterial species was made at the end of the nineteenth century, after Pasteur’s development of sterile culture media. Screening for dyes provided the stimulus for the first scientific study on P. aeruginosa published by pharmacist Carle Gessard in 1882 and entitled “On the blue and green coloration of bandages.”1 This characteristic pigmentation, later attributed to a phenazine derivative, pyocyanine, is reflected in the old names Bacillus pyocyaneus, Pseudomonas polycolor, Bakterium aeruginosa and Pseudomonas pyocyaneus. Although the ability of P. aeruginosa to produce infections was noticed by 1889,2 its pathogenicity was doubted,3 and P. aeruginosa was regarded mainly as a source of potent antimicrobial substances.4 Before 1947 only 91 cases of septicemia attributable to P. aeruginosa were reported in the literature.5 Its importance as a human pathogen, especially in hospitalized patients, did not emerge until the second half of the twentieth century,6 although the organism was certainly present in the inanimate and human environment before then. Because P. aeruginosa is easy to culture and identify it is unlikely that it was missed by clinical microbiologists. Thus, the considerable change in the significance of P. aeruginosa as a nosocomial pathogen probably reflects advances made in the life sciences as well as changes in the susceptibility of patients.

Keywords

Phenol Leukemia Pneumonia Polysaccharide Chlorinate 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Konrad Botzenhart
    • 1
  • Gerd Döring
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General Hygiene and Environmental Hygiene, Hygiene-InstitutUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany

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