What are the respiratory signs and symptoms of P aeruginosa infection?

Updated: Dec 17, 2018
  • Author: Selina SP Chen, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Respiratory infections (eg, primary or nonbacteremic, bacteremic, colonization, and nosocomial pneumonia, lower respiratory tract infections of cystic fibrosis [CF], ventilator-associated pneumonia [VAP])

  • Symptoms in patients with CF vary from frequent upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) and a persistent cough after each bout to recurrent episodes of pneumonia, with or without a lingering cough between exacerbations.

  • Initial age of initiation of Pseudomonas is affected by genotype functional class but not in lifestyle changes (eg, breastfeeding, cigarette smoke). [6] Most patients eventually develop a chronic and increasingly severe productive cough, decreased appetite, weight loss, and diminished activity, particularly during exacerbation.

  • Evidence suggests that chronic P aeruginosa lung infection plays a role in bronchiectasis development. Other symptoms include wheezing, tachypnea, and irritability. Low-grade fever often accompanies exacerbations; high-grade fever is uncommon.

Bacteremic pseudomonal pneumonia usually occurs in patients with malignancies (especially malignancies involving the hematopoietic system), in patients who are neutropenic as a result of chemotherapy, and in children and adults with AIDS.

Primary or nonbacteremic pneumonia results from aspiration of Pseudomonas species from upper respiratory structures that have been colonized. The disease process is fulminant, usually fatal, and characterized clinically by fever, chills, severe dyspnea, copious and purulent-productive cough, cyanosis, apprehension, mental confusion, and systemic toxicity.

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