Acinetobacter is a gram-negative coccobacillus that has emerged from an organism of questionable pathogenicity to an infectious agent of importance to hospitals worldwide . The organism has the ability to accumulate diverse mechanisms of resistance, leading to the emergence of strains that are resistant to all commercially available antibiotics .
The treatment and prevention of Acinetobacter infection will be reviewed here. The clinical features, epidemiology, microbiology, and pathogenesis of Acinetobacter infection are discussed separately. (See "Acinetobacter infection: Epidemiology, microbiology, pathogenesis, clinical features, and diagnosis".)
Acinetobacter has the ability to develop resistance through several diverse mechanisms, which has led to emergence of strains that are resistant to all commercially available antibiotics .
Definitions — In 2011, a joint initiative by the European and United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC and CDC) proposed specific definitions for characterizing drug resistance in organisms that cause many healthcare-associated infections . For Acinetobacter, the following definitions were established based on the extent of resistance to antibiotics that would otherwise serve as treatments for Acinetobacter (ie, cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, and carbapenems):
●Multidrug-resistant: isolate is non-susceptible to at least one agent in three or more antibiotic classes