Objective: We describe the first outbreak of multiple drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (MDR-Ab) in a neonatal intensive care unit in the United States.
Design/Methods: MDR-Ab was identified in the blood of a 24-week gestation, 7-day-old extremely low birth weight neonate. Multiple samplings of surveillance surface cultures were performed on exposed and nonexposed neonates. Enhanced infection control measures were implemented. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis was performed to determine the genetic relatedness of the MDR-Ab isolates. Medical records were reviewed for all exposed patients.
Results: MDR-Ab was recovered from 6 additional neonates. Of these 7 MDR-Ab (index + 6) neonates, 4 died, 3 of whom had positive blood cultures. All affected neonates were born between 23 to 26 weeks gestational age, and were <7days postnatal age and <750 g (430–720) at the time of exposure. All were housed within the same room as the index case. None of the other 5 exposed neonates older than postnatal day 7 or weighing >750 g at birth were affected. No additional cases occurred outside the original room. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis was consistent with a clonal origin, identical to MDR-Ab recovered from the referring hospital.
Conclusions: This MDR-Ab outbreak was rapidly controlled with enhanced infection control measures and was novel in that it affected only <750 g neonates, at ≤26 weeks gestational age, and ≤7 days postnatal age at the time of exposure, suggesting that invasive Ab has a special affinity for damaged or nonkeratinized immature skin in developmentally immature immunologic hosts.