Treatment and antibiotic resistance: Recently there has been a surge in the number outbreaks due to multidrug-resistant (MDR) A. baumannii strains that are resistant to all currently available antibiotics. “Last line” treatment of PDR A. baumannii infections may include use of combined therapies with polymyxins and tigecycline. These have a bacteriostatic effect on A. baumannii but have limited efficacy and harmful side effects. The emergence of PDR A. baumannii, which are resistant to even these “last line” drugsis a dangerous development because it means that there are no effective antibiotic therapies.
Prevention and control: A. baumannii is highly resistant to the effects of desiccation and disinfection and as such is able to persist in the environment for long periods of time. Prevention and control strategies commonly include increased emphasis on hand hygiene, enhanced environmental cleaning and disinfection, the isolation of affected patients and the use of contact precautions. However, the epidemiology of A. baumannii is poorly understood so detailed studies are required to identify effective prevention and control strategies (Joly-Guillou, 2005).
Disease and symptoms: A. baumannii causes skin and soft tissue infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, wound infections, urinary tract infections, secondary meningitis and bacteraemia (Towner, 2009). A. baumannii is a particular problem to patients on mechanical ventilation, burns patients and trauma patients.
Joly-Guillou M.L. (2005) Clinical impact and pathogenicity of Acinetobacter. Clin Microbiol Infect. 11(11): 868-873.
Towner K.J. (2009) Acinetobacter: An old friend, but a new enemy. J Hosp Infect. 73(4): 355-363.