Pseudomonas aeruginosa: guidance, data and analysis

The characteristics, diagnosis, management, surveillance and epidemiology of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a Gram-negative bacterium often found in soil and ground water. P. aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen and it rarely affects healthy individuals. It can cause a wide range of infections, particularly in those with a weakened immune system, for example cancer patients, newborns and people with severe burns, diabetes mellitus or cystic fibrosis.

P. aeruginosa infections are sometimes associated with contact with contaminated water. In hospitals, the organism can contaminate devices that are left inside the body, such as respiratory equipment and catheters. P. aeruginosa is resistant to many commonly-used antibiotics.

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In April 2017, the government extended the surveillance of bacteraemias caused by gram-negative organisms to include P. aeruginosa and Klebsiella spp. This is in addition to the E. coli collection, intended to reduce infections by 50% by 2021. Read NHS Improvement’s plans to reduce these infections. This extended surveillance of P. aeruginosa was mandated in September 2017 and included a requirement to backdate surveillance to April 2017. Read Supporting you to reduce Gram-negative infection rates.. In response to this, P. aeruginosa data will be included in our mandatory surveillance publications from October 2017. See Gram-negative bacteraemia infections updates on the HCAI Data Capture System (DSC) Help and Support page for details.

Patient-level data of any P. aeruginosa bloodstream infections are reported monthly to UK Health Security Agency.

Updates to this page

Published 8 June 2014
Last updated 12 July 2018 + show all updates
  1. Added annual P. aeruginosa data tables.

  2. Added monthly P. aeruginosa data tables.

  3. Updated epidemiology section.

  4. First published.