The epidemiology of nosocomial epidemic Pseudomonas cepacia infections

Eur J Epidemiol. 1987 Sep;3(3):222-32. doi: 10.1007/BF00149728.


Pseudomonas cepacia has occasionally been identified as an epidemic and endemic nosocomial pathogen. In outbreaks, usually one clinical site predominates but many may be involved. Detailed investigations have usually implicated a contaminated liquid reservoir or moist environmental surface as the source. Liquid sources have included a number of different classes of antiseptics and disinfectants such as quaternary ammonium chlorides, biguanides, hexachlorophene, and iodophors. Environmental and patient isolates have had multiply resistant antimicrobial susceptibility patterns. The clinical distinction between colonization and infection may be difficult and may challenge the skills of the clinician. Expenditure of resources needed to solve epidemics is justified in view of the potential virulence of this organism and the high likelihood that an unrecognized but easily eliminated liquid environmental reservoir may be the source.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cross Infection / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Humans
  • Pseudomonas / pathogenicity
  • Pseudomonas Infections / epidemiology*
  • Sepsis / epidemiology
  • United States