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Acinetobacter baumannii

 
 

Acinetobacter baumannii_Copyright Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
Copyright Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.

Acinetobacter species are widely distributed in the environment and are common in soil and water supplies.  In hospitals, they may colonize clinical solutions and can survive on various surfaces, including medical equipment and human skin, for several weeks. Acinetobacter baumannii is an opportunistic pathogen of humans, uncommon in healthy persons but capable of causing severe or life-threatening infections in compromised patients. A. baumannii is increasing in frequency as a cause of nosocomial infections and is especially prevalent in intensive care units, where sporadic cases as well as epidemic outbreaks are encountered. This species is most often associated with nosocomial pneumonia, especially late-onset ventilator-associated pneumonia, but can also cause skin and wound infections, bacteremia, and meningitis.
 
Particularly high mortality is observed in late-onset ventilator-associated pneumonia associated with A. baumannii. This organism is naturally resistant to many antibiotics and antiseptics because of its environmental origin. There is, however, an increasing trend towards the acquisition of multiple resistance mechanisms in hospital isolates of A. baumannii, which has caused significant concern and led to calls for new antibiotics to treat this organism.

 

 
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