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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2006 Sep;12(9):837-43.

Epidemiology of multiple Acinetobacter outbreaks in The Netherlands during the period 1999-2001.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands.


An increase in the number of outbreaks of Acinetobacter infection was notified in The Netherlands during 1999-2001. The present study compared the outbreaks at the species and strain levels, and analysed the epidemiology and control measures at the different locations. For each institute, three representative isolates from three patients were identified to the species and strain levels by genotyping methods. A questionnaire investigated the impact of the outbreak, the control measures that were taken, and the possible effects of the measures. Seven outbreaks were associated with Acinetobacter baumannii (three outbreaks with a strain designated strain A, two outbreaks with a strain designated strain B, and one outbreak each with strains designated C and D). An additional outbreak was caused by genomic species 13TU, which is related closely to A. baumannii. Strains B and D were identified as European clones III and II, respectively. Except for two hospitals with outbreaks caused by strain A, there was no known epidemiological link between the participating hospitals. In all hospitals the outbreak occurred on one or several intensive care units, and spread to other departments was noted in two hospitals. The number of patients affected ranged from six to 66 over a period of 2-22 months. In most outbreaks, patients were the likely reservoir from which spread occurred. In all hospitals, a large panel of measures was required to bring the outbreak to an end. Extensive environmental sampling yielded numerous positive samples in most but not all hospitals.

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