Pseudomonas Sampling & Analysis
Multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas can be deadly for patients in critical care
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an invasive Gram-negative bacterial pathogen, responsible for a wide range of clinical manifestations, including pneumonia, urinary tract infection, and bacteremia, in the immunocompetent patient.
In the immune compromised host, Pseudomonas aeruginosa may behave as an opportunistic pathogen, causing severe invasive diseases, and represents one of the most severe nosocomial pathogens.
Pseudomonas bacteria are, in fact, a major cause of hospital-acquired infection. Infection can be severe and life-threatening, leading to pneumonia or septicaemia. Although, Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen, it is more likely to infect those patients who are already very sick as opposed to healthy patients. It can cause a wide range of infections, particularly among immune-compromised people (HIV or cancer patients) and persons with severe burns, diabetes mellitus or cystic fibrosis.
Plumbing systems and material investigations have also shown their effectiveness at harbouring a biofilm of which Pseudomonasis a major contributor. This has shown strong association with biofilm and therefore, along with specific materials used in plumbing systems such as EPDM material found in flexible hoses and expansion vessels.
These items are addressed in relevant guidance.
We ensure all samples are taken by suitably trained, disciplined personnel, taking the appropriate personal hygiene and safety precautions.
Understanding your sample results
Laboratory testing services often present clients with results of samples without the benefit of interpretation. Whilst we provide original results for your records, we can also explain in simple terms what the results of individual tests mean and a suitable course of action if they are not within the bounds of suitably safe standards.
The Rationale for Sampling
The rationale for any sampling programme is to test if the control measures you have in place for Pseudomonas aeruginosa are suitable and sufficient or not. Therefore, the simplest way to understand if you have Pseudomonas under control is to test for it in your water system.
The responsibility to test your control scheme is described under COSHH Regulation 9, and associated guidance HTM 04-01 Part C, along with specific British Standards but should be informed in conjunction with the advice of the risk assessment or the policy of the specific healthcare association so that the sampling programme is specific and proportionate to the building.
An addendum to Health Technical Memorandum(HTM) 04-01 published in 2013 advised on how to deal with the presence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in augmented care units.
The HTM 04-01 Part C: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care units superseded in the 2013 addendum to HTM 04-01. The guidance is directed towards healthcare organisations providing patient care in augmented care settings, specifically aiming at estates and facilities departments and infection prevention and control (IPC) teams.
The latest 2016 revision of HTM 04-01 introduced healthcare organisations to the concept of Water Safety Groups and Water Safety Plans, which are now a fundamental part of HTM 04-01 Parts A and B.
The HSE has also incorporated WSGs and WSPs in its technical guidance HSG 274 Part 2.