Acinetobacter spp.

Acinetobacter spp. are aerobic, non-fermentative, Gram-negative rod-shaped bacteria. The genus Acinetobacter belongs to the Moraxellaceae family.

In the context of nosocomial infections, the species Acinetobacter baumannii is of particular importance. This pathogen can also form biofilms.

As nosocomial pathogens, Acinetobacter species cause, among others:

  • Pneumonia

  • Bacteremia

  • Urinary tract infections

  • Wound infections

Acinetobacter spp. are ubiquitous. In particular, the bacteria are found in the soil and water. They are also found in the skin and mucous membrane flora of humans and animals.

Relevance of pathogen in transmission in endoscopy

  • Gastroenterology: High

  • Pulmonology: High

  • Ear, nose, and throat: Low

  • Urology: High

Relevance for endoscope surveillance

  • High concern organism

Transmission route

Nosocomial transmission of Acinetobacter spp. occurs through direct or indirect contact such as staff hands and via medical materials. Acinetobacter spp. can also be transmitted through the air or via contaminated food.

In healthcare facilities, Acinetobacter spp. can also be spread and transmitted through water. The water used for final rinsing of endoscopes must therefore be microbiologically controlled.

Resistance to antibiotics

Acinetobacter spp. are resistant to a variety of antibiotics. Increasingly, Acinetobacter spp. are also multidrug-resistant, including to beta-lactams, fluoroquinolones, and aminoglycosides.

Sources and further readings

  1. Acinetobacter in Healthcare Settings, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Accessed on 07.13.2021.

  2. Brady MF et al. Acinetobacter [Updated 2021 Jan 17], In: StatPearls [Internet], Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing, 2021 Jan-, Accessed on 07.13.2021.

  3. Chen CH et al. Two case reports of gastroendoscopy-associated Acinetobacter baumannii bacteremia, World J Gastroenterol. 2013, May 14;19(18):2835–40.

  4. Epidemiologisches Bulletin 12. August 2013 / Nr. 32: Acinetobacter baumannii – ein Krankenhauskeim mit beunruhigendem Entwicklungspotenzial.

  5. Gries O, Ly T: Infektologie – Kompendium humanpathogener Infektionskrankheiten und Erreger, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2019.

  6. Wong D et al. Clinical and Pathophysiological Overview of Acinetobacter Infections: a Century of Challenges.