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Heliyon. 2019 Jul 22;5(7):e02054. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2019.e02054. eCollection 2019 Jul.

Association between antimicrobial resistance among Enterobacteriaceae and burden of environmental bacteria in hospital acquired infections: analysis of clinical studies and national reports.

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Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.
Department of Internal Medicine, Yekatit 12 Hospital Medical College, Ethiopia.
Department of Microbiology, Vestfold Hospital Trust, 3103, Tönsberg, Norway.
Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, School of Medicine, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.
Oslo Center for Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Research Support Services, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, University of South-Eastern Norway, Kongsberg, Norway.
Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.



WHO has named three groups of gram-negative bacteria "our critical antimicrobial resistance-related problems globally". It is thus a priority to unveil any important covariation of variables behind this three-headed epidemic, which has gained alarming proportions in Low Income Countries, and spreads rapidly. Environmental bacteria including Acinetobacter spp. are common nosocomial pathogens in institutions that have high rates of antimicrobial resistance among other groups of gram-negative bacteria.


Based on two different data sources, we calculated the correlation coefficient (Pearson's r) between pathogenic burden of Acinetobacter spp. and antimicrobial resistance among Enterobacteriaceae in European and African nosocomial cohorts.

Clinical reports:

Database search for studies on nosocomial sepsis in Europe and Africa was followed by a PRISMA-guided selection process.

National reports:

Data from Point prevalence survey of healthcare-associated infections published by European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control were used to study the correlation between prevalence of Acinetobacter spp. and antimicrobial resistance among K. pneumoniae in blood culture isolates.


The two approaches both revealed a strong association between prevalence of Acinetobacter spp. and rates of resistance against 3. generation cephalosporins among Enterobacteriaceae. In the study of clinical reports (13 selected studies included), r was 0.96 (0.80-0.99) when calculated by proportions on log scale. Based on national reports, r was 0.80 (0.56-0.92) for the correlation between resistance rates of K. pneumoniae and proportion of Acinetobacter spp.


The critical antimicrobial resistance-related epidemics that concern enteric and environmental gram-negative bacteria are not independent epidemics; they have a common promoting factor, or they are mutually supportive. Further, accumulation of antimicrobial resistance in nosocomial settings depends on the therapeutic environment. Burden of Acinetobacter spp. as defined here is a candidate measure for this dependence.


Acinetobacter spp.; Africa; Antibiotic resistance; Antimicrobial resistance; Antimicrobial resistance vulnerability; Enterobacteriaceae; Europe; Extended spectrum beta-lactamase; Global health; Gram-negative bacteria; Infectious disease

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