Acinetobacter Associated With Lower Survival Compared With Other Pathogens in ICU Patients

Leão, et al. (2016) say it has been challenging to determine the true clinical impact of Acinetobacter spp. due to the predilection of this pathogen to colonize and infect critically ill patients, who often have a poor prognosis. They report on their study to assess whether Acinetobacter spp. bacteremia is associated with lower survival compared with bacteremia caused by other pathogens in critically ill patients.

This study was performed at Hospital das Clínicas, University of São Paulo, Brazil. There are 12 intensive care units (ICUs) in the hospital: five Internal Medicine ICUs (emergency, nephrology, infectious diseases and respiratory critical care), three surgical ICU (for general surgery and liver transplantion), an Emergency Department ICU for trauma patients, an ICU for burned patients, a neurosurgical ICU and a post-operative ICU. A retrospective review of medical records was conducted for all patients admitted to any of the ICUs, who developed bacteremia from January 2010 through December 2011. Patients with Acinetobacter spp. were compared with those with other pathogens (Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter spp., Enterococcus spp., Pseudomonas aeruginosa). We did a 30-day survival analysis. The Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank test were used to determine the overall survival. Potential prognostic factors were identified by bivariate and multivariate Cox regression analysis.

One hundred forty-one patients were evaluated. No differences between patients with Acinetobacter spp. and other pathogens were observed with regard to age, sex, APACHE II score, Charlson Comorbidity Score and type of infection. Initial inappropriate antimicrobial treatment was more frequent in Acinetobacter bacteremia (88% vs. 51%). Bivariate analysis showed that age > 60 years, diabetes mellitus, and Acinetobacter spp. infection were significantly associated with a poor prognosis. Multivariate model showed that Acinetobacter spp. infection (HR = 1.93, 95% CI: 1.25–2.97) and age > 60 years were independent prognostic factors.

The researchers conclude that Acinetobacter is associated with lower survival compared with other pathogens in critically ill patients with bacteremia, and is not merely a marker of disease severity.

Reference: Leão ACQ, Menezes PR, Oliveira MS and Levin AS. Acinetobacter spp. are associated with a higher mortality in intensive care patients with bacteremia: a survival analysis. BMC Infectious Diseases. 201616:386.