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Am J Infect Control. 1999 Jun;27(3):247-53.

Unusual genetic heterogeneity of Acinetobacter baumannii isolates in a university hospital in Italy.

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  • 1Institute of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, University "Federico II,", Naples, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Acinetobacter baumannii has become an increasingly important nosocomial pathogen, particularly in intensive care units (ICUs). The aim of this investigation was to study the molecular epidemiology of A baumanii in a university hospital in Italy.

METHODS:

All A baumanii isolates were collected and typed with phenotypic and genotypic methods during a 7-month period. A 1-year prospective surveillance of ICU-acquired infections was performed by using the National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance methodology.

RESULTS:

A baumanni accounted for 28.4% of all infections and 46.7% of all pneumonia acquired in the ICU, with a nosocomial infection rate of 12.4% or 8 infections per 1000 patient-days. Risk factors for A baumannii acquisition in the ICU were mechanical ventilation and previous use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, whereas administration of carbapenems showed a significant protective effect. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of genomic Apa I digests identified at least 5 outbreaks in the ICU caused by 5 different clones, one replacing the other in a well-defined temporal order.

CONCLUSIONS:

Whereas the sequential temporal cluster of epidemic clones in the ICU is intriguing and requires further research, the clear evidence of cross-contamination of A baumannii isolates involved with infections in the ICU demands extensive preventive efforts.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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