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Appl Environ Microbiol. Jun 1994; 60(6): 1734–1738.
PMCID: PMC201555

A major Pseudomonas aeruginosa clone common to patients and aquatic habitats.


The genomic relatedness of 573 Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains from environmental and clinical habitats was examined by digesting the genome with the rare-cutting enzyme SpeI. Thirty-nine strains were collected from environmental habitats mainly of aquatic origin, like rivers, lakes, or sanitary facilities. Four hundred fifty strains were collected from 76 patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) treated at four different centers, and 25 additional clinical isolates were collected from patients suffering from other diseases. Twenty-nine P. aeruginosa isolates were collected from the environment of one CF clinic. Thirty strains from culture collections were of environmental and clinic origin. A common macrorestriction fingerprint pattern was found in 13 of 46 CF patients, 5 of 29 environmental isolates from the same hospital, in a single ear infection isolate from another hospital, and 8 of 38 isolates from aquatic habitats about 300 km away from the CF clinic. The data indicate that closely related variants of one major clone (called clone C) persisted in various spatially and temporally separated habitats. Southern analysis of the clonal variants with six gene probes and two probes for genes coding for rRNA revealed almost the same hybridization patterns. With the exception of the phenotypically rapidly evolving CF isolates, the close relatedness of the strains of the clone was also shown by their identical responses in pyocin typing, phage typing, and serotyping. Besides clone C, three other P. aeruginosa clones were isolated from more than one clinical or environmental source.

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