Acinetobacter infection

Acinetobacter Infection: Description, Causes and Risk FactorsA genus of nonmotile, aerobic bacteria containing Gram negative or variable coccoid or short rods, or cocci, often occurring in pairs. They can also cause severe primary infections in immunocompromised people. The type species is Acinetobacter calcoaceticus.Alternative Name: Lingelsheimia.Acinetobacter is a group of bacteria commonly found in soil and water. It can also be found on the skin of healthy people, especially healthcare personnel. While there are many types or “species” of Acinetobacter and all can cause human disease, Acinetobacter baumannii accounts for about 80% of reported infections.Outbreaks of Acinetobacter infections typically occur in intensive care units and healthcare settings housing very ill patients. Acinetobacter infections rarely occur outside of healthcare settings.acinetobacter infectionAcinetobacter poses very little risk to healthy people. However, people who have weakened immune systems, chronic lung disease, or diabetes may be more susceptible to infections with Acinetobacter. Hospitalized patients, especially very ill patients on a ventilator, those with a prolonged hospital stay, or those who have open wounds, are also at greater risk for Acinetobacter infection. Acinetobactercan be spread to susceptible persons by person-to-person contact, contact with contaminated surfaces, or exposure in the environment.Symptoms:Acinetobacter causes a variety of diseases, ranging from pneumonia to serious blood or wound infections and the symptoms vary depending on the disease. Typical symptoms of pneumonia could include fever, chills, or cough. Acinetobacter may also “colonize” or live in a patient without causing infection or symptoms, especially in tracheostomy sites or open wounds.Diagnosis:Laboratory: A blood cell count is nonspecific and leukocytosis is not a universal clinical feature of infections with Acinetobacter. The organism may be cultured from routine clinical specimens, cerebrospinal fluid, blood, respiratory secretions, peritoneal fluid, wound exudates, or urine.Imaging: Chest radiograph and CT scans are useful in defining the extent of a nosocomial infection by any organism or to rule out other causes of the patient's symptoms.Other tests: These tests would be related to the organ system involved. Culture results should be interpreted carefully. Colonization with Acinetobacter occurs on skin, wounds, and respiratory epithelium. Identifying Acinetobacter in the absence of clinical signs of infection may represent colonization, which does not warrant treatment.Treatment Options:Mild to moderate infections may respond to monotherapy. Traumatic wound infections can be treated with minocycline. Serious infections are treated with combination therapy — typically, imipenem, or a ?-lactam/?-lactamase inhibitor plus an aminoglycoside.To prevent spread, health care practitioners should use contact precautions and appropriate ventilator care and cleaning for patients colonized or infected with MDR-AB.DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care. 


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