The purpose of the present study was to explore the potential behavioural changes of Pseudomonas aeruginosa following growth in different aquatic environmental conditions. To achieve this, P. aeruginosa was cultured in various water microcosms for 12 months under fixed (pH, nutrients and temperature) factors. P. aeruginosa responses to these conditions were investigated using colony morphotype, biochemical and enzymatic characterisation, pyocin typing, serotyping, sensitivity to different classes of antibiotics and molecular identification. Results show that starvation in water microcosms lead to unusual phenotypes. Of interest is that the pyocin changed from 24/n in the wild type to 83/a following culture in the water microcosms, and the serotype changed from O6 in the wild type to O1 in microcosm-cultured P. aeruginosa. Furthermore, the starvation period in various aquatic microcosms enhanced the resistance of P. aeruginosa against beta-lactam antibiotics. Compared to the other aquatic environments, the seawater microcosm produced the greatest amount of variations in P. aeruginosa. Overall, data demonstrated a high adaptability of P. aeruginosa to environmental changes. This may explain the unusual antibiotic-resistant phenotypes belonging to P. aeruginosa species, and their capacity for spreading that leads to human infections.

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