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Clin Infect Dis. 2000 Jul;31(1):101-6. Epub 2000 Jul 17.

Endemic carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter species in Brooklyn, New York: citywide prevalence, interinstitutional spread, and relation to antibiotic usage.

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Department of Medicine, State University of New York Health Science Center, Brooklyn, NY, 11203, USA.


Acinetobacter species are problematic nosocomial pathogens. In November 1997, pathogens isolated by microbiology laboratories were collected from 15 hospitals in Brooklyn, New York. Acinetobacter species accounted for 10% of gram-negative isolates. Only half of Acinetobacter species were susceptible to carbapenems; 11 hospitals had at least 1 isolate resistant to carbapenems. Other Acinetobacter susceptibility rates were as follows: polymyxin, 99%; amikacin, 87%; ampicillin/sulbactam, 47%; ceftazidime, 25%; and ciprofloxacin 23%. Overall, 10% were resistant to all commonly used antibiotics. Genetic analysis by use of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of 12 carbapenem-resistant isolates revealed 4 strains that were recovered from >1 hospital, which suggests interinstitutional spread. Antibiotic usage data from 11 hospitals revealed that the use of third-generation cephalosporins was associated significantly with the percentage of carbapenem-resistant strains (P=.03). Resistant Acinetobacter species have become endemic in Brooklyn, New York. Citywide strategies that involve surveillance, infection-control practices, and the reduction of antibiotic usage may be necessary to control the spread of these pathogens.

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