Aerosolization of Acinetobacter baumannii in a Trauma ICU*

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Objective:To establish the presence of air contamination with Acinetobacter baumannii in the trauma ICU.Design:Point prevalence microbiological surveillances.Settings:A 1,500-bed public teaching hospital in the Miami metro area.Patients:Trauma ICU patients.Measurements:Pulsed field electrophoresis was performed on environmental and clinical isolates to determine the association of any isolates from the air with clinical isolates.Main Results:Out of 53 patient areas cultured, 12 (22.6%) had their air positive for A. baumannii. The presence of an A. baumannii–positive patient (underneath the plate) was associated with positive air cultures for A. baumannii (11 of 21 [52.4%] vs 0 of 25 [0%]; p < 0.0001). However, we were not able to find differences in air contamination based on the presence of A. baumannii in respiratory secretions versus absence (p = 1.0). Air and clinical isolates were found to be clonally related.Conclusions:Aerosolization of A. baumannii in the ICUs is a concern, and its role in the transmission of this organism among patients should be further clarified.

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