Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

The Acinetobacter Threat

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 11, 2010

Many Contractors who entered the Military Medical Evacuation System out of Iraq and Afghanistan suffer the consequences of Acinetobacter contamination.

at EPI Evidence Based Medical News and Expose’

by Bryant Furlow

Think MRSA is scary? Since the mid-2000s, a more environmentally persistent, increasingly antibiotic-resistant infection has spread through-out western Europe and the U.S.

The arrival of extensively drug-resistant Acinetobacter at U.S. hospitals caught public health officials off guard. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, these infections were increasingly rare, with declining infection rates.

But in 2004, U.S. Army physicians began noting a high rate of antibiotic-resistant Acinetobacter infections among soldiers wounded and initially treated in Iraq — and sporadic reports began to suggest the infections were spreading from wounded soldiers to other patients at military health care facilities.

Cross infection from injured soldiers and contractors was recognized as a “particular problem” in the U.K. but the U.S. military has consistently downplayed the risk of spread.  Isolation and infection control procedures, promoted on paper, were widely ignored in clinical practice.  By 2007, Acinetobacter had become one of the most common gram-negative hospital infections.  Now it isinvading nursing homes.

Recent studies tie Acinetobacter drug resistance to infection lethality, contrasting sharply with early military research, which suggested Acinetobacter infections do not kill.

Beginning in June, epiNewswire will be exploring the origins of the Acinetobacter threat with continuing coverage of this and other emerging hospital infections. Check our continuing coverage of new studies in the research briefs column.

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