Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections – a cause of UTI

Pseudomonal infections are a significant cause of gram-negative bacterial infections, particularly in those with compromised defences. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the most common pathogen found in patients hospitalised for over a week, and antibiotic resistance is increasing.

Pseudomonal infections can be complicated and serious, even causing death. Infections can appear throughout the body, including the respiratory tract, urinary tract, ear, eye, blood, heart, bones and skin.

We only discuss the urinary tract infections caused by this bacteria in this article.

About Pseudomonas aeruginosa

P. aeruginosa is a gram-negative rod belonging to the family Pseudomonadaceae. Over half of the isolates of this bacteria produce a blue-green pigment, pyocyanin, and the species produce a characteristic sweet odour. These bacteria – pathogens – exist in soil, water, plants and animals, including humans, and is an important cause of infection.

P. aeruginosa is an opportunist, rarely causing infection in healthy people. The pathogen tends to pick on areas that are weak, for example where a skin barrier has broken down or underlying immunity has become lowered. 

P. aeruginosa can tolerate a wide variety of living conditions. First the bacteria attaches to the epithelium to colonise, causes a local infection, then finds its way into the bloodstream to spread.

Antibiotic treatment for Pseudomonas aeruginosa urinary tract infections

The typical treatment is with antibiotics, however antibiotic resistance remains an issue. Combination therapy may be used in severe infections, with UTIs typically treated with parenteral aminoglycosides, quinolones, antipseudomonal penicillins, cephalosporins, carbapenems and aztreonam. Ciprofloxacin the preferred oral treatment.

Infected medical devices should be removed, which could include an intrauterine device (IUD).

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Jessica Lloyd - Vulvovaginal Specialist Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)