2021 Jan 17. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan–.
Acinetobacter is a gram-negative, aerobic, non-fermentative, oxidase negative, and nonmotile organism. Acinetobacter has several different species but A.baumanii has the greatest known clinical significance. Acinetobacter can be found in soil and water. In patients, they are frequently cultured from the urine, saliva, respiratory secretions, and open wounds. The organism is also known to colonize intravenous fluids and other irrigation solutions.
In general, Acinetobacter has low virulence but is capable of causing infection in immunocompromised and neutropenic patients. Most of the infections are a result of nosocomial spread and colonization rather than de novo infections. Thus, great care is required when acinetobacter is isolated - whether it is an actual infection or just colonization. Risk factors for Acinetobacter infection include:
Prolonged stay in the intensive care unit
Prolonged antibiotic exposure
Use of a central venous catheter
Most acinetobacter infections are group outbreaks, and isolated cases are rare. Infections may complicate intravenous (IV) catheter treatment, mechanical ventilation, and even peritoneal dialysis. In most cases, the presence of Acinetobacter in respiratory secretions of ventilated patients represents colonization.