The New MRSA! The title of this article published in Medscape peaked my interest. Gosh what’s next I thought; healthcare workers have enough to deal with as we negotiate the myriad of conditions, diseases and infection control obligations in our healthcare settings whilst having the aim of caring, protecting and supporting our patients and clients. What is Acinetobacter Baumannii and why the title The new MRSA?
Alasdair Barrie has written a really interesting article which in part identifies the following:
‘Acinetobacter is a pleomorphic aerobic gram-negative bacillus, increasingly found in hospitalized patients. Isolates from patients usually reflect colonization as opposed to infection. However, when the organism is pathogenic, it can be multidrug resistant and therefore difficult to treat.
- Acinetobacter infections rarely occur outside of health care settings but may occur in tropical environments, wars, and natural disasters. Its natural environment includes water and soil.
- In the hospital setting, it is most commonly found on the intensive care unit and burns units. In human populations, it colonizes the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, skin, and wounds. Some strains can survive in iron-deficient and dry environments for months, leading to the increased risk of fomite contamination.
- It is estimated to be the cause of 2% to 10% of all gram-negative infections in intensive care units in both the United States and Europe. Acinetobacter has low virulence but can cause infection in those who are immunocompromised, have chronic disease, have surgical wounds, or have prolonged hospital admissions.
- Infections caused by Acinetobacter can include bacteremia, hospital-acquired pneumonia, meningitis, and urinary tract infections.
- It can contaminate traumatic and surgical wounds, causing soft-tissue infection and osteomyelitis.
- Infections from Acinetobacter baumannii are renowned for being difficult to treat due to its antimicrobial resistance.
- .The species also form biofilms to adhere to environmental surfaces
- Those proven to be colonized with Acinetobacter should be isolated and appropriate infection control measure put in place. Supportive care includes removing or replacing any lines, catheters or drains
- Most infections, until recently, were sensitive to the carbapenems, but cases of resistance have been increasing. Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter is commonly susceptible to antiseptic and disinfectants. ‘
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