Research Summary: ICU-Associated Acinetobacter baumannii Colonisation/Infection in a High HIV-Prevalence Resource-Poor Setting



There are hardly any data about the incidence, risk factors and outcomes of ICU-associated A.baumannii colonisation/infection in HIV-infected and uninfected persons from resource-poor settings like Africa.


We reviewed the case records of patients with A.baumannii colonisation/infection admitted into the adult respiratory and surgical ICUs in Cape Town, South Africa, from January 1 to December 31 2008. In contrast to colonisation, infection was defined as isolation of A.baumannii from any biological site in conjunction with a compatible clinical picture warranting treatment with antibiotics effective against A.baumannii.


The incidence of A.baumannii colonisation/infection in 268 patients was 15 per 100 person-years, with an in-ICU mortality of 26.5 per 100 person-years. The average length of stay in ICU was 15 days (range 1–150). A.baumannii was most commonly isolated from the respiratory tract followed by the bloodstream. Independent predictors of mortality included older age (p = 0.02), low CD4 count if HIV-infected (p = 0.038), surgical intervention (p = 0.047), co-morbid Gram-negative sepsis (p = 0.01), high APACHE-II score (p = 0.001), multi-organ dysfunction syndrome (p = 0.012), and a positive blood culture for A.baumannii (p = 0.017). Of 21 A.baumannii colonised/infected HIV-positive persons those with clinical AIDS (CD4<200 cells/mm3) had significantly higher in-ICU mortality and were more likely to have a positive blood culture.

Conclusion In this resource-poor setting A.baumannii infection in critically ill patients is common and associated with high mortality. HIV co-infected patients with advanced immunosuppression are at higher risk of death.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 27-December-2012

Author(s): Ntusi N., Badri M., Khalfey H., Whitelaw A., Oliver S., Piercy J., Raine R., Joubert I., Dheda K.


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