An outbreak of nosocomial infection with Acinetobacter baumannii in the neonatal intensive care unit of the Department of Paediatrics, University Clinical Centre Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Izeta Softić, Husref Tahirović, Fahrija Skokic, Nijaz Tihic, Vincenzo Di Ciommo, Cinzia Auriti


Objective – Outbreaks of sepsis caused by multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii in neonatal intensive care units have been reported, but rarely from our country. We describe such an outbreak in the Department of Paediatrics of the University Clinical Centre Tuzla in 2012 to investigate risk factors, the mode of transmission and to assess control measures. Setting – An 18 bed, level 3 neonatal intensive care unit in a university affiliated teaching hospital.

Patients and methods – Seventeen neonates who developed multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii nosocomial infection were matched to 17 neonates who were admitted to the same unit without infections, during the outbreak period. Cases and controls were compared for possible risk factors (birth weight, gender, intubation, antibiotic use, etc.). Surveillance cultures were collected from health care personnel and the environment.

Results – Six out of the 17 neonates (35.3%) died. Surveillance cultures were negative. Seventeen isolates from newborns had the same patterns of resistance. Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii was brought into the unit by an infected infant who was transferred from the neurosurgery hospital. Risk factors significantly associated with the infection were: incubator care (OR 6.66; p =0.034), exposure to a central venous catheter (OR 13.75; p =0.004), mechanical ventilation (OR 5.25;p =0.031) and exposure to a patient with Acinetobacter baumannii infection (OR 38.40; p =0.02).

Conclusion – Surveillance cultures for all newborns transferred from other hospitals and isolation measures are important to prevent nosocomial infections and outbreak. Negative environmental and health care worker cultures have to be meticulously analyzed. Cohorting of affected newborns and nursing staff, contact isolation, and environmental cleaning are crucial to control the outbreak.


Acinetobacter baumannii; Outbreak; Neonates; Intensive care unit

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