To establish the presence of air contamination with Acinetobacter baumannii in the trauma ICU.
Point prevalence microbiological surveillances.
A 1,500-bed public teaching hospital in the Miami metro area.
Trauma ICU patients.
Pulsed field electrophoresis was performed on environmental and clinical isolates to determine the association of any isolates from the air with clinical isolates.
Out of 53 patient areas cultured, 12 (22.6%) had their air positive for A. baumannii. The presence of an A. baumannii–positive patient (underneath the plate) was associated with positive air cultures for A. baumannii (11 of 21 [52.4%] vs 0 of 25 [0%]; p < 0.0001). However, we were not able to find differences in air contamination based on the presence of A. baumannii in respiratory secretions versus absence (p = 1.0). Air and clinical isolates were found to be clonally related.
Aerosolization of A. baumannii in the ICUs is a concern, and its role in the transmission of this organism among patients should be further clarified.