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Multidrug-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii: A Growing Worldwide Problem

Harris, Katherine I. MD*; Perencevich, Eli N. MD, MS*†; Rosenthal, Gary E. MD*†‡; Herwaldt, Loreen A. MD*§∥

Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice: September 2013 - Volume 21 - Issue 5 - p 285–288
doi: 10.1097/IPC.0b013e31828bbb1a
Review Articles

Abstract: Acinetobacter baumannii is an important pathogen worldwide. This organism is becoming resistant to numerous antimicrobial agents, and it has inherent characteristics that make it highly transmissible and virulent. Although this pathogen has been well known in Europe and the Middle East, it has garnered increasing attention in the United States more recently as a cause of infections in US military personnel returning from combat. A. baumannii was the 10th most frequent cause of nosocomial bacteremia in US hospitals according to data from a prospective, nationwide surveillance study conducted from 1995 to 2002. Nonetheless, many US physicians are not aware of its virulence and transmissibility or its ability to cause large outbreaks. This clinical vignette describes the first case of multidrug-resistant A. baumannii complex (sensitive only to colisitin and high-dose ampicillin-sulbactam) isolated at our institution. The vignette also reviews the epidemiology of A. baumannii, risk factors for infection, susceptibility to antimicrobial agents, treatment options, and infection prevention and control practices necessary to prevent transmission of this pathogen.

From the *Department of Internal Medicine, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa; †Center for Access and Delivery Research and Evaluation, Iowa City VA Medical Center; ‡Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, §College of Public Health, and ∥University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.

Correspondence to: Katherine I. Harris, MD, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics; 200 Hawkins Drive, E327-1 GH, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA. E-mail: katherine-i-harris@uiowa.edu.

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

This article has not been simultaneously submitted elsewhere.

This article was prepared solely by the authors listed, and the authors listed on this article have contributed sufficiently to the article to be included as authors.

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.