Pseudomonas aeruginosa-Associated Diarrheal Diseases in Children

Chih Hsien Chuang, Rajendra Prasad Janapatla, Yi Hsin Wang, Hsin Ju Chang, Yhu Chering Huang, Tzou Yien Lin, Cheng Hsun Chiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND:: The gastrointestinal tract is not the common infection site of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The role of P. aeruginosa as a causative agent for diarrhea in children without pre-existing disease is controversial. METHODS:: From 2003 to 2012 we reviewed the records of 259 diarrheal patients less than 5 years of age whose stool culture grew P. aeruginosa. Virulence phenotypes of bacterial isolates were determined in vitro, including cytotoxicity, penetration and adherence to epithelial cells. RESULTS:: The presence of P. aeruginosa in children with diarrhea less than 5 years old is 0.91%. P. aeruginosa-associated diarrheal diseases were classified into 4 groups: Shanghai fever (enteric infection and sepsis) (5%), P. aeruginosa enterocolitis (15%), P. aeruginosa-related diarrhea (19%) and antibiotic-associated diarrhea (43%). The remaining patients had co-infection with other pathogens (18%). Shanghai fever was the most severe enteric disease with invasive infection and complications. The clinical features of P. aeruginosa enterocolitis were prolonged fever with bloody or mucoid diarrhea mimicking bacterial enterocolitis. The clinical features of P. aeruginosa-related diarrhea and antibiotic-associated diarrhea were similar to viral or toxin-mediated diarrhea. Compared with other P. aeruginosa-associated diarrheal diseases, patients with Shanghai fever were younger, usually infants, and the characteristic laboratory findings included leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, high C-reactive protein, hyponatremia and hyperglycemia. Except for Shanghai fever, antibiotic treatment is not recommended. Isolates from Shanghai fever were more cytotoxic and adherent than isolates from uncomplicated diarrheal patients. CONCLUSIONS:: P. aeruginosa could be an enteric pathogen even in healthy children. Young age and highly virulent bacterial strains were risk factors for Shanghai fever

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1119-1123
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number12
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 31 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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