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J Med Microbiol. 2017 Oct;66(10):1457-1466. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.000589. Epub 2017 Sep 19.

Characterization of environmental Pseudomonas aeruginosa using multilocus sequence typing scheme.

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1​Department of Environmental Safety and Ecotoxicology, Szent István University, Páter Károly u. 1., 2100, Gödöllő, Hungary.
2​National Center for Epidemiology, Albert Flórián út 2-6., 1097, Budapest, Hungary.



The objectives of this study were to examine environmental (hydrocarbon degrading) Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates with Multilocus Sequence Typing (MLST) and to determine their relevant features, such as serotype, virulence genes, biofilm forming ability and hydrocarbon degrading capacity.


The diversity of environmental isolates was assessed with an MLST scheme. Investigation of virulence determinants included serotyping, hemolytic activity test and the detection of virulence genes exoS, exoY, exoT, exoU, exoA. Biofilm forming ability was examined in a modified microtiter assay, hydrocarbon degrading capacity was determined with gravimetric methods.


The majority of environmental isolates shared the same MLST profiles with isolates of cystic fibrosis (CF). Virulence patterns and serotypes were slightly connected to the phylogenetic localization, but further clinically important features such as antibiotic resistance were not. At least one of the examined environmental isolates was multidrug-resistant, virulent and had biofilm forming ability such as nosocomial P. aeruginosa and retained its hydrocarbon degradation ability.


The current theses that distinguish isolates originating from different sources are questionable; environmental P. aeruginosa can be a potential risk to public health and cannot be excluded as an external (non-nosocomial) source of infections, especially in patients with CF. Further studies such as pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and the determination of other clinically important virulence factors are needed to confirm these findings.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa; biofilm; hydrocarbon biodegradation; multilocus sequence typing; serotype; virulence

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