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J Infect Dev Ctries. 2009 Nov 5;4(1):30-7.

Pan-resistant Acinetobacter infection in neonates in Karachi, Pakistan.

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Department of Pediatrics and Child health, Aga Khan University, Karachi -74800 , Pakistan.



Pan-resistant Acinetobacter infection has emerged as an important nosocomial pathogen in our inpatient neonates over the past few years.


We performed a retrospective chart review during a five-year period (July 2003 - June 2008) of all neonates hospitalized in our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) who developed Acinetobacter infection to identify mortality-associated risk factors in Acinetobacter neonatal infection.


During the five-year study period, 122 cultures from 78 neonates grew Acinetobacter. Source sites of positive culture were in the following descending order: blood (n = 57), trachea (n = 55), tissue/wound/body fluids (n = 4), eye (n = 4), urine (n = 1), and cerebrospinal fluid (n = 1). Twenty-four (31%) patients had Acinetobacter isolated from more than one site. At the time of admission the mean age was 2.08 +/- 4 days and mean weight was 1.77 +/- 0.88 kg; 75% were premature. Pan-resistance (87/122; sensitive only to Polymyxin) was present in 71% of Acinetobacter isolates. Crude mortality rate of this cohort was 47%, while 70% of patients died within four days after positive Acinetobacter culture. We identified weight of less than 1 kg on admission (p 0.06, adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) 1.53), gestational age 28 weeks or less (p 0.011, AOR 2.88), poor perfusion (p 0.007, AOR 2.4), thrombocytopenia (p 0.01; AOR 1.6) and metabolic acidosis (p 0.01; AOR 1.67) as predictors associated with poor outcome.


Pan-resistant Acinetobacter infection is exceedingly fatal in newborns, particularly in premature and very low-birth weight neonates. Rational antibiotic use and vigilant infection control in NICUs are key to controlling multi-drug resistant Acinetobacter infection and improving clinical outcome.

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