The Bad Bug is Back: Acinetobacter Baumannii Bacteremia Outbreak during the COVID-19 Pandemic in an Intensive Care Unit

Mete B., Kurt A., Urkmez S., Demirkiran O., Can G., Dumanli G., ...More

NIGERIAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PRACTICE, vol.25, no.5, pp.702-709, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 25 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_2001_21
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.702-709
  • Keywords: Acinetobacter baumannii, COVID-19, outbreak, RISK-FACTORS, INFECTIONS, INCREASE
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Epidemiology of nosocomial infections may show variability because of under-estimation of infection control measures (ICMs) in coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) outbreak. Aim: To investigate the Acinetobacter bacteremia outbreak developed in an intensive care unit (ICU) between March 20 to May 15, 2020, examine the risk factors, and re-evaluate ICM retrospectively. Material and Methods: A retrospective cohort analysis was conducted to determine the risk factors, pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) was performed for analysis of the outbreak, ICM practices were observed by a team, and infection control interventions were undertaken. Results: Acinetobacter bacteremia developed in 17 patients (21.5%) within 79 COVID-19 patients included in the study. The mean age of the bacteremic patients was 67.3 (SD = 14.82) years, and 82.4% of them were male; of these, 15 died, leading to 88.2% mortality. The bacteremia rate was higher compared with a 14-month period preceding the COVID-19 pandemic (17/79 versus 12/580 patients, respectively). PFGE revealed that the outbreak was polyclonal. On multi-variate analysis, the bacteremia development rate was 13.7 and 5.06 times higher with central venous catheter (CVC) use and in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), respectively. The mortality rate was higher in bacteremic patients (p = 0.0016). It was observed that ICMs were not followed completely, especially change of gloves and hand hygiene. Contamination of A. baumannii was observed in 38% of the gloves. Conclusion: COPD and CVC use were determined as risk factors for Acinetobacter bacteremia development, and failures in ICM may have led to cross-contamination of endemic A. baumannii. The outbreak could be controlled within 3 weeks of interventions.