Jawad A, Seifert H, Snelling AM, et al.
Department of Microbiology, University of Leeds, United Kingdom.
SourceJ Clin Microbiol 1998 Jul; 36(7)
Acinetobacter spp. are important nosocomial pathogens reported with increasing frequency in outbreaks of cross-infection during the past 2 decades. The majority of such outbreaks are caused by Acinetobacter baumannii. To investigate whether desiccation tolerance may be involved in the ability of certain strains of A. baumannii to cause hospital outbreaks, a blind study was carried out with 39 epidemiologically well-characterized clinical isolates of A. baumannii for which survival times were determined under simulated hospital conditions. The survival times on glass coverslips of 22 strains isolated from eight well-defined hospital outbreaks in a German metropolitan area were compared with the survival times of 17 sporadic strains not involved in outbreaks but rather isolated from inpatients in the same geographic area. All sporadic isolates have been shown by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis to represent different strain types. There was no statistically significant difference between the survival times of sporadic strains of A. baumannii and outbreak strains (27.2 versus 26.5 days, respectively; P < or = 0.44) by the Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test. All investigated A. baumannii strains, irrespective of their areas of endemicity or epidemic occurrence, have the ability to survive for a long time on dry surfaces. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing showed that A. baumannii outbreak strains were significantly more resistant to various broad-spectrum antimicrobial agents than sporadic strains. Both desiccation tolerance and multidrug resistance may contribute to their maintenance in the hospital setting and may explain in part their propensity to cause prolonged outbreaks of nosocomial infection.
MeshAcinetobacterAcinetobacter InfectionsAnti-Bacterial AgentsColony Count, MicrobialDesiccationDisease OutbreaksDrug Resistance, MicrobialDrug Resistance, MultipleGlassHospitalsHumansHumidityMicrobial Sensitivity TestsSurface Properties
Journal Article Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't