Acinetobacter baumannii
from Iraq
Frequently Asked Questions
ass in ée toe back ter

Extremely Drug Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, Multi Drug Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii,
MDR Acinetobacter baumannii, MDRAb, Abc, MDRAbc, Acinetobacter calcoaceticus, Aca, A baumannii,
T Strain, Iraqibacter, Iraqi bacter, Sand fever

What is Acinetobacter baumannii?

Acinetobacter baumannii is an intrinisically antibiotic resistant bacteria that can cause nosocomial infections.
Nosocomial infections are hospital acquired infections.

Acinetobacter baumannii is very rarely ever found outside the hospital environment.

Multiple and Extremely drug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii are very dangerous strains some of which
have grown completely resistant to every antimicrobial available.

Acinetobacter baumannii Myths

Acinetobacter baumannii does not come from bombs put inside dead animals, or from animal feces in IED's.  It
is not blown into wounds with the soil or sand in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Acinetobacter baumannii is spread through

What makes Acinetobacter baumanii so scary?

Acinetobacter baumannii is extremely hardy and known to survive on dry surfaces for up sixty days
Acinetobacter baumannii is very adept at picking up resistant genes from other bacteria
In the laboratory setting Acinetobacter baumannii has begun to grow resistant to drugs such as Colistin in as
little as 12 hours.

Acinetobacter baumannii claimed mortality rates range from 25% to 75%.

Where does Acinetobacter baumannii come from?

Acinetobacter species in general are found in soil and water.

Acinetobacter baumannii species are rarely ever found outside of the hospital environmen
t and thrive in wet
or on dry surfaces.

How do you get Acinetobacter baumannii?

Aspiratives, someone coughs on you.  Also lavage equipment which uses a water spray to clean wounds.

contaminated surgical equipment, contaminated IV lines, ports, trachs, catheters, ventilating equipment
Your doctors tie or lab coat, hospital bed curtains, linens, cell phones, computer keyboards.

Doctors or nurses going from patient to patient whether they wash their hands or not.

Poor infectious disease control practices are the number one cause of nosocomial infections.

Almost 40% of protective gowns and gloves worn by health care workers who were exposed to patients with
multidrug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii became contaminated during contact, according to findings
presented at the 2009 meeting of the Society of Healthcare Epidemiologists of America, held in San Diego.

Is Acinetobacter baumannii contagious?

Yes, and contrary to propaganda you do not have to be immunocomprised for Acinetobacter baumannii to
cause an infection.
Hospital workers are increasingly becoming infected.
A dog in Florida tested positive for Acinetobacter baumannii in it's blood recently.

Can you be a carrier of Acinetobacter baumannii without being sick?

The military found strains of Acinetober baumannii that were not the drug resistant strain on the skin of
soldiers who were not hospitalized or infected.

Acinetobacter baumannii is thought to be carried in healthy persons much like MRSA without causing infection.

Can Acinetobacter recur?

There is no way to know when and if Acinetobacter baumannii is cleared from the body.  If it is not cleared from
the body it could recur at any time.

Acinetobacter baumannii colonization vs. infection?

Colonization is when the Acinetobacter baumannii is present and growing but not causing and infection.

Infection is when the bacteria has begun to cause an infection in it's host.

Normal signs of infection do not always occur.

What types of infections does Acinetobacter baumannii cause?

Pnuemonia, bloodstream sepsis, endocarditis, gastrointestinal, surgical site infections, wound infections,
meningitis, urinary tract infections, picc line infections, skin infections, endophthalmitis (an infection of the
lining of the eye)

Can you die from Acinetobacter baumannii?
Yes, especially once the bacteria has spread into the bloodstream and caused sepsis.

How do you treat Acinetobacter baumannii?

When Acinetobacter baumannii is identified it should also be tested for which drugs it is sensitive too.
Some strains of Acinetobacter baumannii are still sensitive to available antibiotics.

There are now strains of Acinetobacter baumannii which are resistant to every antibiotic available.

Some patients are simply sent to nursing homes and other long term care facilities to die, and possibly infect
other patients.

How long does it take to recover from Acinetobacter baumannii infections?

Recovering from Acinetobacter baumannii infections and recovering from the drugs used to treat them will be
two different things.   
Long after Ab may be brought under control the ravages done to the organs and immune system may never

Help with this page welcomed.

The answers to these questions have been compiled through research, experience, and information
provided by interested members of the military and civilian medical and public health communities.

If you have questions you would to present or answers or you'd like to add to please send us an email.
 Marcie Hascall Clark

If you or a loved
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baumannii and your
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