Pseudomonas spp

From Ferret
Pseudomonas spp grown on agar

Pseudomonas spp are an anaerobic bacteria that is commonly associated with pleuropneumonia in mustelids.

Although ferrets are infected occasionally, minks appear to be predisposed to infections with this organism[1].

Species which are pathogenic to ferrets include:

  • Pseudomonas luteola[2] (f: Chryseomonas luteola)
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa

These bacteria are aerobic, gram-negative rods with polar flagella. They are oxidase positive, in contrast to Enterobacteriaceae. These organisms are found in most environments including in water and soil and air. Among the genus Pseudomonas, the majority of infections are caused by P. aeruginosa, although other related organisms also cause disease. Pseudomonads are opportunistic pathogens.

Resistance of pseudomonads to various antibiotics is a problem. Two such drugs simultaneously are often employed for up to 6 weeks, either by mouth or intravenously. Eye infections are treated with antibiotic drops. In the case of infections of deep tissues such as in the brain, joints or bone, surgery to remove damaged tissue may be required. Moreover, amputation may be necessary in infections of the limbs of burns patients or those with infected wounds.

The toxicity of pseudomonads results from production of Toxin A which ADP ribosylates elongation factor-2 (EF2 - used in protein synthesis). In this, pseudomonad toxin is similar to diphtheria toxin.

In ferrets, Pseudomonas luteola is characterized by acute septic infections leading to nephritis, purulent lymphadenitis and pleuritis.

Treatment involves aggressive antimicrobial therapy with broad-spectrum drugs such as enrofloxacin.


  1. Kirkeby S et al (2007) The mink as an animal model for Pseudomonas aeruginosa adhesion: binding of the bacterial lectins (PA-IL and PA-IIL) to neoglycoproteins and to sections of pancreas and lung tissues from healthy mink. Microbes Infect 9(5):566-573
  2. Martínez J et al (2012) Pyogranulomatous pleuropneumonia and mediastinitis in ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) associated with Pseudomonas luteola Infection. J Comp Pathol 146(1):4-10