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J Appl Bacteriol. 1995 Jul;79(1):94-102.

Characterization of mucoid Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains isolated from technical water systems.

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Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wasserchemie und Wassertechnologie GmbH, Institut an der Gerhard-Mercator-Universität-Gesamthochschule Duisburg, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany.


The occurrence of mucoid Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains was investigated in water samples and surface material from non-clinical aquatic environments. Ten of 81 environmental isolates displayed a mucoid colony type after incubation at 36 degrees C for 24 h on Pseudomonas Isolation Agar. The mucoid strains obtained exclusively from surfaces of technical water systems were characterized in terms of medium-dependent expression of mucoid colonial phenotype, exoenzyme profile, pigment production and O-antigen type. The mucoid strains secreted substantially higher quantities of carbohydrate and uronic acid-containing material compared to non-mucoid environmental isolates. Major slime components of the mucoid strains were identified as O-acetylated alginates that contained higher proportions of mannuronate than guluronate monomer residues and were composed of blocks of poly-mannuronate and poly-mannuronate/guluronate, whereas blocks of poly-guluronate were absent. The results suggest that surfaces in aquatic environments may represent a natural habitat for mucoid (i.e. alginate-overproducing) strains of Ps. aeruginosa with properties similar to clinical mucoid strains.

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