Infectious Diseases

Fatal Nosocomial Infection with Extensively Resistant, Hypervirulent Acinetobacter

Acinetobacter baumanii is a typical critical care “pest” in that it causes infections with high degrees of morbidity and mortality in severely ill patients, especially those who are immunosuppressed. However, a recent publication has brought to view the fact that a clade B strain of Acinetobacter baumanii was associated with six deaths in a hospital setting. This new clade B strain is notable because it is extensively drug resistant and is hyper virulent, resulting in fatal outcomes.

The major significance of this report lies in the fact that these patients, who had relatively minor underlying illnesses, eventually died from the Acinetobacter baumanii infection, which is a rare event in itself. Given that the models used in understanding the clinical progress and epidemiology of this infection are pretty old, and there may have been significant changes in the pathogen’s ability to adapt and mutate, it is time to have a re-look at the epidemiology of Acinetonacter baumanii infections.

Jones CL, Clancy M, Honnold C, et al. A Fatal Outbreak of anEmerging Clone of Extensively Drug-Resistant _Acinetobacter baumannii_with Enhanced Virulence. Clin Infect Dis. 1st published online 29 Mar2015. Article abstract available at:

Skeptic Oslerphile. PhD Student in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Past: 1) Public Health Scientist and Program Manager, Translational Global Health Policy Research Cell, Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. 2) Scientist, Indian Council of Medical Research, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases; 3) Senior Research Associate, Public Health Foundation of India. Interests include: Emerging Infections, Public Health, Antimicrobial Resistance, One Health and Zoonoses, Diarrheal Diseases, Medical Education, Medical History, Open Access, Healthcare Social Media and Health2.0. Opinions are my own!

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