Small and rough colony Pseudomonas aeruginosa with elevated biofilm formation ability isolated in hospitalized patients

Takako Ikeno, Kazumasa Fukuda, Midori Ogawa, Masahisa Honda, Tadao Tanabe, Hatsumi Taniguchi

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a key pathogen of nosocomial infection, and causes persistent infection in patients with specific diseases like cystic fibrosis (CF). It has been reported that patients affected with CF discharge, at a high frequency, small colony variants with high adherence ability. In routine laboratory testing, we found atypical small and rough type (SR) colony variants of P. aeruginosa. The SRs and the counterpart wild type (WT) colonies showed similar biochemical features, antimicrobial susceptibilities, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) profiles, serotypes, and twitching motilities. The biofilm formation abilities of all the SR colonies, however, were extremely elevated as compared to those of the counterpart WT colonies. The frequency of SR-positive patients was 3.1% of the P. aeruginosa-positive inpatients (5/160), and that of the SR isolates was 0.6% of the P. aeruginosa strains (6/970) isolated in our laboratory over a period of 6 months. The SR-positive patients did not have any common disease or particular antibiotics treatment. The PFGE profiles showed that the SRs and the counterpart WTs were identical to each other, and also that three of the five SR/WT pairs were clonally similar. The three pairs were recovered from the feces, urine, and endotracheal secretion, respectively, of three patients hospitalized in two distinct wards. The results suggest that P. aeruginosa spontaneously produced highly adherent SR colonies in hospitalized patients, and these colonies may tend to spread in a hospital.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)929-938
Number of pages10
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Virology


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