Acinetobacter (a-sin-EE-toe-back-ter) species are oxidase-negative, non-motile bacteria which appear as Gram-negative coccobacilli in pairs under the microscope although the Gram stain can vary and appear Gram-positive. Identifying the different species of this genus can be difficult. There are at least 25 different types of Acinetobacter. These bacteria are widely found in nature, mostly in water and soil. The organisms have also been isolated from the skin, throat, and various other sites in healthy people. Acinetobacter baumanni is the type that is most often associated with hospital-acquired infections but does not typically colonize healthy people outside of hospital settings.
How do you get Acinetobacter infections
Wounds can be contaminated with dirt and debris containing Acinetobacter bacteria at the time of injury. Acinetobacter can also spread by person-to-person contact and contact with contaminated surfaces in intensive care units and other healthcare settings. Other possible sources of infection are being investigated, and any new. Information on prevention will be communicated when it becomes available.
What types of infections does Acinetobacter cause?
Infections caused by Acinetobacter in the general population are very rare. Acinetobacter can cause pneumonia, skin and wound infections, urinary tract infection blood infections. Bloodstream infections caused by Acinetobacter baumannii tend to be the most severe.
Symptoms of Acinetobacter Infection
Symptoms will vary depending on the specific part of the body that is affected. Symptoms of pneumonia, for instance, could include fever, chills, cough, and shortness of breath. A wound infection might cause fever and redness, increasing pain, and pus around the wound. Persons with these symptoms should see their health care providers.
Treatment of Acinetobacter Infections - Antibiotics for Acinetobacter
Most types of Acinetobacter are easily treated with common antibiotics and with other supportive care. Other types of Acinetobacter, and especially those acquired in hospitals, can be resistant to many commonly prescribed antibiotics and require special treatments. Health care providers identify treatment options for each infection on an individual basis.
Antibiotic selection guided by in vitro sensitivity tests--most active: imipenem, ampicillin/sulbactam, colistin, tigecycline and amikacin.
Imipenem: 0.5-1gm IV q6h, meropenem 0.5-1 gm IV q 8h, doripenem 500 mg IV q 8h.
Ampicillin/sulbactam: 3 gm ampicillin/1.5 gm sulbactam IV q 6h (sulbactam is the active component).
Tigecycline: 100 mg IV, then 50 mg IV q 12 h.
Intrathecal: Polymyxin E 50,000 units/d.
Pan-resistant isolates: colistin5 mg/kg/d divided q12h IV +/- imipenem or ampicillin/sulbactam.
Other agents with variable activities: aminoglycosides, cephalosporins, minocycline, rifampin.
Inhalation: colistin 1-3 mil units q 8h (use immediately after reconstitution) or tobramycin 300 mg twice daily.
What happens when an Acinetobacter- infected patient returns home?
Proper hand washing and keeping any open wounds cleaned and dressed may be all that is required for Acinetobacter patients as precautions against spreading infections upon returning home. Medical staffs will provide specific instructions if additional precautions are necessary.
Source - http://fhp.osd.mil/