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To investigate a nosocomial outbreak of infection with multidrug-resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter baumannii in the intensive care units at China Medical University Hospital in Taiwan.
Prospective outbreak investigation.
Three intensive care units in a 2,000-bed university hospital in Taichung, Taiwan.
Thirty-eight stable patients in 3 intensive care units, all of whom had undergone an invasive procedure, were enrolled in our study. Ninety-four A. baumannii strains were isolated from the patients or the environment in the 3 intensive care units, during the period from January 1 through December 31, 2006. We characterized A. baumannii isolates by use of repetitive extragenic palindromic–polymerase chain reaction (REP-PCR) and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) fingerprinting. The clinical characteristics of the source patients and the environment were noted.
All of the clinical isolates were determined to belong to the same epidemic strain of MDR A. baumannii by the use of antimicrobial susceptibility tests, REP-PCR, and RAPD fingerprinting. All patients involved in the infection outbreak had undergone an invasive procedure. The outbreak strain was also isolated from the environment and the equipment in the intensive care units. Moreover, an environmental survey of one of the intensive care units found that both the patients and the environment harbored the same outbreak strain.
The outbreak strain of A. baumannii might have been transmitted among medical staff and administration equipment. Routine and aggressive environmental and equipment disinfection is essential for preventing recurrent outbreaks of nosocomial infection with MDR A. baumannii.