Acinetobacter baumannii is a species of pathogenic bacteria that is resistant to most antibiotics. Some think the disease is killing tens of thousands of U.S. hospital patients each year due to its resistance to drug treatment. It can cause severe pneumonia and infections of the urinary tract, bloodstream, and other parts of the body.
It forms opportunistic infections including reports of attacking wounded soldiers and is sometimes abbreviated as MDRAB. It is the most relevant human pathogen within the Acinetobacter genus. Most isolates are multi-resistant which has led to more virulence. They have no flagellum. They are rod-shaped and up to 2.5 microns during growth and they become shorter and rounder during the stationary phase. They are usually found in pairs of groups.
It enters the body through open wounds, catheters, and breathing tubes and typically infects those with compromised immune systems, such as the wounded, the elderly, children, and those with immune disease.
Military infections occurred in April, 2003, in American soldiers returning from Iraq. The first reports said the infections came from the Iraqi soil, but, this was debunked when it was shown field hospitals were full of widespread contamination.
Nosocomial A. baumannii bacteremia may cause severe clinical disease that is associated with an elevated mortality rate. This pathogen expresses factors that could play a role in human pathogensis. Little is known about these processes and factors and there is little evidence to support their role in bacterial virulence and the pathogenisis of serious infectious diseases.
A multidrug-resistant strand is a common problem in many hospitals in the US and Europe. Carbeapenem antibiotic such as imipenem is usually the first line of defense.