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Surveillance cultures following a regional outbreak of carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 May 2021

Frida Rivera
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Allison Reeme
Department of Infection Prevention and Control, Froedtert Hospital, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Mary Beth Graham
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Blake W. Buchan
Department of Pathology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Nathan A. Ledeboer
Department of Pathology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Ann M. Valley
Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, Madison, Wisconsin
L. Silvia Munoz-Price*
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Author for correspondence: L. Silvia Munoz-Price, E-mail:



The primary aim of this study was to assess the epidemiology of carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) for 9 months following a regional outbreak with this organism. We also aimed to determine the differential positivity rate from different body sites and characterize the longitudinal changes of surveillance test results among CRAB patients.


Observational study.


A 607-bed tertiary-care teaching hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Any patient admitted from postacute care facilities and any patient housed in the same inpatient unit as a positive CRAB patient.


Participants underwent CRAB surveillance cultures from tracheostomy secretions, skin, and stool from December 5, 2018, to September 6, 2019. Cultures were performed using a validated, qualitative culture method, and final bacterial identification was performed using mass spectrometry.


In total, 682 patients were tested for CRAB, of whom 16 (2.3%) were positive. Of the 16 CRAB-positive patients, 14 (87.5%) were residents from postacute care facilities and 11 (68.8%) were African American. Among positive patients, the positivity rates by body site were 38% (6 of 16) for tracheal aspirations, 56% (9 of 16) for skin, and 82% (13 of 16) for stool.


Residents from postacute care facilities were more frequently colonized by CRAB than patients admitted from home. Stool had the highest yield for identification of CRAB.

Original Article
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America

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