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Emerg Infect Dis. 2006 Aug;12(8):1214-22.

VEB-1 Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Acinetobacter baumannii, France.

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Department of Bacteriology and Virology, Höpital de Bicêtre, 73 rue du Général Leclerc, 94275 Le Kremlin-Bicêtre CEDEX, France.


VEB-1 extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Acinetobacter baumannii was responsible for an outbreak in hospitals in France. A national alert was triggered in September 2003 when 4 hospitals reported clusters of A. baumannii infection with similar susceptibility profiles. Case definitions and laboratory guidelines were disseminated, and prospective surveillance was implemented; strains were sent to a single laboratory for characterization and typing. From April 2003 through June 2004, 53 hospitals reported 290 cases of A. baumannii infection or colonization; 275 isolates were bla(VEB-1)-positive and clonally related. Cases were first reported in 5 districts of northern France, then in 10 other districts in 4 regions. Within a region, interhospital spread was associated with patient transfer. In northern France, investigation and control measures led to a reduction of reported cases after January 2004. The national alert enabled early control of new clusters, demonstrating the usefulness of early warning about antimicrobial drug resist.

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