Achromobacter xylosoxidans is a flagellated, gram-negative rod bacterium. It belongs to the Alcaligenaceae family and the Burkholderiales order. In the environment, the germ is usually found in the soil or in various water sources.
Transmission mainly occurs through contact with contaminated liquids, for example, intravenous solutions, mouthwashes or soap solutions. Improperly reprocessed wipes dispenser systems can also be a source of infection. An infection with Achromobacter xylosoxidans tends to occur only rarely. The pathogens are also transmitted when they enter the body from the skin during a medical intervention. There they can cause an infection, particularly as the immune system in patients is often weakened.
The pathogen can trigger diseases such as meningitis, sepsis or inflammation of the inner heart membrane (endocarditis) in people with immunodeficiency or immunosuppression. In addition, bacteremia, in other words, the appearance of a large number of bacteria in the blood, can also occur. Infection with Achromobacter xylosoxidans also plays a role in cystic fibrosis, a previously incurable metabolic disease. The germ is one of those that forms a biofilm on the diseased lung. The biofilm then prevents salts and water from properly flowing into and out of the cells of the lung. This leads to an imbalance in the salt and water balance of the cell. Cystic fibrosis can then lead to other secondary diseases such as diabetes and osteoporosis. Originally, the pathogen was isolated for the first time in patients suffering from middle ear inflammation.
As long as the bacteria are not isolates with special resistances and multi-resistances, good clinical practice with regard to standard hygiene measures (including wearing mouth and nose protection when in close contact with symptomatic patients with respiratory infections) is sufficient to minimise the risk of transmission. Achromobacter xylosoxidans are often resistant to aminoglycosides, ampicillin, aztreonam, quinolone and most cephalosporins. In some cases, they are also multi-resistant and therefore difficult to treat.
The required spectrum of activity against Achromobacter xylosoxidans is: bactericidal