Epidemiology and clinical outcomes associated with extensively drug-resistant (XDR) Acinetobacter in US Veterans' Affairs (VA) medical centers

Margaret A. Fitzpatrick*, Katie J. Suda, Linda Poggensee, Amanda Vivo, Marissa Wirth, Geneva Wilson, Martin Evans, Charlesnika T. Evans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective:Although infections caused by Acinetobacter baumannii are often healthcare-acquired, difficult to treat, and associated with high mortality, epidemiologic data for this organism are limited. We describe the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, and outcomes for patients with extensively drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (XDRAB).Design:Retrospective cohort studySetting:Department of Veterans' Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs)Participants:Patients with XDRAB cultures (defined as nonsusceptible to at least 1 agent in all but 2 or fewer classes) at VAMCs between 2012 and 2018.Methods:Microbiology and clinical data was extracted from national VA datasets. We used descriptive statistics to summarize patient characteristics and outcomes and bivariate analyses to compare outcomes by culture source.Results:Among 11,546 patients with 15,364 A. baumannii cultures, 408 (3.5%) patients had 667 (4.3%) XDRAB cultures. Patients with XDRAB were older (mean age, 68 years; SD, 12.2) with median Charlson index 3 (interquartile range, 1-5). Respiratory specimens (n = 244, 36.6%) and urine samples (n = 187, 28%) were the most frequent sources; the greatest proportion of patients were from the South (n = 162, 39.7%). Most patients had had antibiotic exposures (n = 362, 88.7%) and hospital or long-term care admissions (n = 331, 81%) in the prior 90 days. Polymyxins, tigecycline, and minocycline demonstrated the highest susceptibility. Also, 30-day mortality (n = 96, 23.5%) and 1-year mortality (n = 199, 48.8%) were high, with significantly higher mortality in patients with blood cultures.Conclusions:The proportion of Acinetobacter baumannii in the VA that was XDR was low, but treatment options are extremely limited and clinical outcomes were poor. Prevention of healthcare-associated XDRAB infection should remain a priority, and novel antibiotics for XDRAB treatment are urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInfection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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