Monday, June 29, 2009

Acinetobacter, that's a quite a neato bacteria

Acinetobacter baumannii is a strictly aerobic, gram-negative coccobacillus that is oxidase negative, non-motile, and non-fermentative. This organism has a high capacity for survival on environmental surfaces, and has an ability to acquire antimicrobial resistance makes it an increased concern for nosocomial (hospital acquired) infections. It has been an increasingly hot button issue as it has become known to some nurses, soldiers, and microbiologists as Iraqnobacter due to its spread throughout the military hospitals. Many times soldiers have survived hellacious trauma on the battlefield only to succumb to even more damage by an organism that has picked up antimicrobial resistance factors to the drugs primarily associated with treating them almost impossible. Many (11%) of the A.baumannii isolates submitted to the CDC have been resistant to all carbapenems (by using a carbapenemases like CfiA, IMI-1etc.), which is the last line of antimicrobial therapy available to treat these organisms. Bob Woodruff, the reporter from ABC, famously contracted an MDR A.baumannii infection after surviving the attack on his unit.
Generally Acinetobacter baumannii does not cause infection, but in a hospital or other setting can enter into the body through open wounds, catheters, and breathing tubes and can cause an infection and depending on resistance patterns and overall patient health can lead to death. Health care and hospital workers can become colonized, however, colonization poses no threat to people who aren't already ill (card carrying microbiologists like me are a regular germ lab) but colonized health care workers and hospital visitors can carry the bacteria into neighboring wards and other medical facilities.
One of the best ways to handle Acinetobacter baumannii is to have an effective infection control policy, hand washing, effective equipment decon, and even a fecal surveillance program are good ways to control the spread of this bug. There are even new, effective ways of controlling the way the infection spreads to new patients like the one in this article: The article talks about taking a compound called hCAP – 18 that is normally produced by skin and acts as an antimicrobial peptide and placing it inside of wounds to see a significant drop of infectious organisms inside of wounds. Novel technologies like this are critical for passing into the next phase of microbiology where we are seeing increasing resistance to the drugs that have once worked.


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I think it's not very good for health to read this stuff... because you can get panic and psicosis haha
Thanks for sharing, very interesting.

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