Send to

Choose Destination
Crit Rev Microbiol. 1997;23(1):47-75.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa: assessment of risk from drinking water.

Author information

Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, Yale-New Haven Hospital, CT, USA.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an ubiquitous environmental bacterium. It can be recovered, often in high numbers, in common food, especially vegetables. Moreover, it can be recovered in low numbers in drinking water. A small percentage of clones of P. aeruginosa possesses the required number of virulence factors to cause infection. However, P. aeruginosa will not proliferate on normal tissue but requires previously organs. Further narrowing the risk to human health is that only certain specific hosts are at risk, including patients with profound neutropenia, cystic fibrosis, severe burns, and those subject to foreign device installation. Other than these very well-defined groups, the general population is refractory to infection with P. aeruginosa. Because of its ubiquitous nature, it is not only not practical to eliminate P. aeruginosa from our food and drinking water, but attempts to do so would produce disinfection byproducts more hazardous than the species itself. Moreover, because there is no readily available sensitive and specific means to detect and identify P. aeruginosa available in the field, any potential regulation governing its control would not have a defined laboratory test measure of outcome. Accordingly, attempts to regulate P. aeruginosa in drinking water would not yield public health protection benefits and could, in fact, be counterproductive in this regard.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center