Recently there was a recall of Antimicrobial Foaming Hand Soap (Triclosan 0.3%) due to contamination with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. As a precautionary measure, the recall was extended to 21 lots of the product X3 Clean Alcohol-Free Foaming Hand Sanitizer (Benzalkonium chloride 0.13%).
Pseudomonas aeruginosa was discovered in 1882 and was subsequently found to cause a variety of human infections. It is a common bacterium found in a wide range of environments. It infects nematodes, insects, plants, and amoeba in the laboratory. It is also found in water and soil.
In humans, Pseudomonas aeruginosa is distinguished as an opportunistic pathogen, causing a wide range of infections, including deadly pneumonia in immuno-compromised individuals such as cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, burn patients, those on ventilators or with catheters, AIDS patients, and others. It is one of the most common nosocomial pathogens in intensive care units (ICUs). Individuals in intensive care units can develop ventilator-associated pneumonia and/or sepsis as a result of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection.
According to the CDC, the overall incidence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in US hospitals averages about 0.4 percent or 4 per 1000 discharges. It is the fourth most commonly isolated nosocomial pathogen accounting for 10.1 percent of all hospital acquired infections.
Within the hospital, Pseudomonas aeruginosa has numerous reservoirs such disinfectants, respiratory equipment, food, sinks, taps, and mops. This organism is often reintroduced into the hospital environment on fruits, plants, vegetables, as well by visitors and patients transferred from other facilities.
Spread of Pseudomonas aeruginosa occurs from patient to patient on the hands of hospital personnel, by direct patient contact with contaminated reservoirs, and by the ingestion of contaminated foods and water.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa has shown resistance to multiple antibiotics and consequently has joined the ranks of ‘super bugs’. It shows decreased susceptibility to most antibiotics due to low outer membrane permeability coupled to adaptive mechanisms.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa as cause of eye infection
Contact lenses, particularly the extended wear variety, render wearers vulnerable to eye infections from Pseudomonas aeruginosa . These infections can cause severe damage, including blindness.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa as cause of respiratory infection
An outbreak of seven cases of Pseudomonas aeruginosa respiratory tract infection and nine instances of respiratory tract colonization has been reported. This infection was inked to contaminated ultrasound gel.
Lower respiratory tract infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa occurs in most people with cystic fibrosis. Once chronic infection is established, Pseudomonas aeruginosa is virtually impossible to eradicate and is associated with increased mortality and morbidity. Early infection may be easier to eradicate.
If you are concerned about Pseudomonas, We can help! We can perform a presence/absence test to detect the bacteria. For more information about our Pseudomonas, other bacteria or mold testing services, please contact Mold & Bacteria Consulting Laboratories, please call our Ontario, Mississauga Office at 905-290-9101.
For more information on the recalled products, click on the links below.
Article edited and expanded by Dr Jackson Kung’u
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