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Microbes Environ. 2011;26(2):101-12. Epub 2011 Mar 18.

The ecology, biology and pathogenesis of Acinetobacter spp.: an overview.

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Applied Sciences Faculty, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town 8000, South Africa.


Acinetobacter are a major concern because of their rapid development of resistance to a wide range of antimicrobials, and rapid profundity in transformation, surviving desiccation and persisting in the environment for a very long time. The organisms are associated with bacteraemia, pulmonary infections, meningitis, diarrhea and notorious nosocomial infections with mortality rates of 20 to 60%. Transmission is via person-to-person contact, water and food contamination, and contaminated hospital equipment. The increasing virulence and rapid development of multidrug resistance by these organisms highlights the need to search for alternatives for chemotherapy. A poor understanding of the organisms and dearth of information about their occurrence especially in developing countries informed the need for this review paper.

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