Nosocomial outbreak of carbapenem-resistant acinetobacter baumannii in intensive care units and successful outbreak control program

Wonseok Choi, Su Hyun Kim, Eun Gyong Jeon, Myeung Hee Son, Young Kyung Yoon, Jung Yeon Kim, Mi Jeong Kim, Jang Wook Sohn, Ja Kim Min, Dae Won Park

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39 Citations (Scopus)


Acinetobacter baumannii has been increasingly reported as a significant causative organism of various nosocomial infections. Here we describe an outbreak of carbapenemresistant A. baumannii (CRAB) in the ICUs of a Korean university hospital, along with a successful outbreak control program. From October 2007 through July 2008, CRAB was isolated from 57 ICU patients. Nineteen patients were diagnosed as being truly infected with CRAB, four of whom were presumed to have died due to CRAB infection, producing a case-fatality rate of 21.1%. In surveillance of the environment and the healthcare workers (HCWs), CRAB was isolated from 24 (17.9%) of 135 environmental samples and seven (10.9%) of 65 HCWs. The pulsed field gel electrophoresis patterns showed that the isolates from patients, HCWs, and the environment were genetically related. Control of the outbreak was achieved by enforcing contact precautions, reducing environmental contamination through massive cleaning, and use of a closed-suctioning system. By August 2008 there were no new cases of CRAB in the ICUs. This study shows that the extensive spread of CRAB can happen through HCWs and the environmental contamination, and that proper strategies including strict contact precautions, massive environmental decontamination, and a closed-suctioning system can be effective for controlling CRAB outbreaks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)999-1004
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Korean Medical Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jul 1



  • Acinetobacter baumannii
  • Disease outbreaks
  • Infection control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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