ANCHOR LEAD: A BACTERIA CALLED ACINETOBACTER MAY REPLACE STAPH AS THE NEWEST INFECTION WORRY, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
A type of bacteria called Acinetobacter baumanii is emerging as a threat to hospitalized patients nationwide, many of whom acquire the infection before coming to the hospital and may transmit it to other patients. Pam Lipsett, a surgeon at Johns Hopkins, says that just like many other multidrug resistant bugs, it’s no surprise how this one emerged.
LIPSETT: The use of antibiotics has really gotten out of control and because of that we’re seeing more and more multidrug resistant bacteria. Drugs in development are really lacking for these very, very resistant bugs. For example, for Acinetobacter we’ve gone back to drugs that were thought to be useful in the 1940s. that’s one of our primary drugs for the multidrug resistant Acinetobacter is colistin polymyxin. These drugs had no use before these multidrug resistant bacteria were pre-eminent. :32
Lipsett says good hygiene practices are critical to containing infections such as Acinetobacter. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.