Acinetobacter baumannii

Acinetobacter baumannii
Acinetobacter baumannii

What is Acinetobacter baumannii?

Acinetobacter baumannii is a Gram-negative rod-shaped bacterium and belongs to the group of 4MRGN pathogens (multi-resistant Gram-negative bacteria). This relatively new generation of nosocomial pathogens (pathogens that cause hospital infections) is resistant to four groups of available antibiotics (penicillins, cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones and carbapenems) and is therefore a current subject of research. Acinetobacter baumannii is present worldwide. The bacterium is usually harmless for healthy people. In immunocompromised patients, however, the germ can cause severe pneumonia, wound and blood-flow infections with fatal outcomes. In areas with a tropical to warm-dry climate, the bacterium is one of the most relevant pathogens present in intensive care units. Among pathogens responsible for nosocomial infections in Europe, Acinetobacter spp bacteria are present with a prevalence of 3.6%, and most frequently cause lower respiratory tract infection.

How is Acinetobacter baumannii transmitted?

The bacterium is transmitted through direct and indirect contact (hands, medical materials or instruments) and through contaminated water or food. Infection is also possible via air in the room. The germ is very insensitive to environmental influences. Therefore, the pathogens can remain infectious for a long time – for example, on keypads of medical devices, ward telephones or on lamps. There is currently no verified information on the risk of infection outside hospitals or through animal surroundings.

What are symptoms of the disease?

Infection with the Acinetobacter baumannii pathogen leads to urinary, wound and respiratory tract infections, and also includes nosocomial pneumonia and sepsis. Soft tissue infections and meningitis can also occur. Acinetobacter is associated with about 9% of all bacterial infections in intensive care units worldwide. The ratio is highest in Asia and Eastern Europe (17-19%) and lowest in Western Europe and North America (4-6%).

Significance for infections in hospitals and in the outpatient sector

In recent years Acinetobacter baumannii has developed into a "problem germ". Its frequent insensitivity to common antibiotics is particularly worrying. As it is resistant to four antibiotic groups, the bacterium is classified as 4MRGN (multi-resistant Gram-negative pathogens). It is resistant to acylureidopenicillins, cephalosporins of the third and fourth generation, fluoroquinolones and carbapenems.

Survival time of pathogens on inanimate surfaces

3 days to 5 months

Disinfectant effectiveness for prevention

The necessary spectrum of activity against Acinetobacter baumannii is: bactericidal.

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