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Int J Infect Dis. 2013 Oct;17(10):e802-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2013.03.021. Epub 2013 May 11.

Reservoirs of Acinetobacter baumannii outside the hospital and potential involvement in emerging human community-acquired infections.

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Laboratoire de Bactériologie - Hygiene, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, 4 rue Larrey, 49000 Angers, France; Groupe d'Etude des Interactions Hôtes Pathogènes (GEIHP), Université d'Angers, France. Electronic address:


The objective of the present report was to review briefly the potentially community-acquired Acinetobacter baumannii infections, to update information on the reservoirs of A. baumannii outside the hospital, and to consider their potential interactions with human infections. Most reports on potentially community-acquired A. baumannii have been published during the last 15 years. They concern community-acquired pneumonia, infections in survivors from natural disasters, and infected war wounds in troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. Although the existence of extra-hospital reservoirs of A. baumannii has long been disputed, the recent implementation of molecular methods has allowed the demonstration of the actual presence of this organism in various environmental locations, in human carriage, in pets, slaughter animals, and human lice. Although the origin of the A. baumannii infections in soldiers injured in Southwestern Asia is difficult to determine, there are some arguments to support the involvement of extra-hospital reservoirs in the occurrence of community-acquired infections. Overall, the emergence of community-acquired A. baumannii infections could be associated with interactions between animals, environment, and humans that are considered to be potentially involved in the emergence or re-emergence of some infectious diseases.


Acinetobacter baumannii; Animals; Community-acquired infections; Environment; Reservoirs

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