New superbug fear as strain resists treatment

Drug-resistant strains of the bacterium Acinetobacter baumannii represent a growing public health problem, according to research.

Three strains of the bacterium are found across Europe and infection is typically encountered in hospitals. It can be community-acquired, but mainly in southeast Asia and tropical Australia.

Pneumonia and bacteraemia are the most common clinical syndromes reported with community-acquired infection.

The bacterium is associated with a mortality rate of around 34 per cent for patients with a hospital-acquired bloodstream infection. It can be found in soil, and foods including vegetables, meat and fish.

Carbapenems have long been the treatment of choice, but resistance has risen substantially in some areas. Recent trials have reported multidrug resistance rates of 30 per cent.

'The role of A baumannii as a pathogen causing serious infections in critically ill patients has become increasingly clear,' the authors said. 'Additional research is recommended.'

  • Lancet Infectious Diseases 2008; 8: 751-62.

Beating the superbug

  • Carbapenems and sulbactam resistance rates are rising.
  • Polymyxins have shown antimicrobial activity.
  • Tigecycline may be effective against drug-resistant strains.

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

GP consulting room

Nine in ten GPs fear their practice will struggle to cope this winter

Nearly nine in ten GPs fear that their practice will struggle to cope this winter,...

BMA sign

BMA elects new deputy chair of England GP committee and chair of Scottish council

Dr David Wrigley has been elected as new deputy chair of the BMA's GP committee in...

UK money

Almost half of practices say income from private fees has fallen in past year

Almost half of GP practices have seen their income from private and professional...

COVID-19 vaccination centre

BMA raises 'serious concerns' about GP workload and funding for autumn COVID boosters

The BMA has raised 'serious concerns' about the workload implications of this autumn's...


Monkeypox jabs will run out by next week, UKHSA says

The UK is likely to run out of smallpox vaccine stocks which it is using to protect...

NHS sign outside a building

Two Midlands hospitals end partnerships with Babylon

Two NHS trusts have prematurely severed their relationships with digital health provider,...