Document Type


Date of Original Version



Pharmacy Practice


Introduction: Acinetobacter baumannii is a top-priority pathogen of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) due to antibiotic resistance.

Gap Statement: Trends in A. baumannii resistance rates that include community isolates are unknown.

Aim: Identify trends in A. baumannii resistance rates across the Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare System, including isolates from patients treated in hospitals, long-term care facilities and outpatient clinics nationally.

Methodology: We included A. baumannii clinical cultures collected from VA patients from 2010 to 2018. Cultures were categorized by location: VA medical centers (VAMCs), long-term care (LTC) units [community living centers (CLCs)], or outpatient. We assessed carbapenem resistance, multidrug resistance (MDR) and extensive drug resistance (XDR). Time trends were assessed with Joinpoint regression.

Results: We identified 19 376 A. baumannii cultures (53% VAMCs, 4% CLCs, 43% outpatient). Respiratory cultures were the most common source of carbapenem-resistant (43 %), multidrug-resistant (49 %) and extensively drug-resistant (21 %) isolates. Over the study period, the number of A. baumannii cultures decreased significantly in VAMCs (11.9% per year). In 2018, carbapenem resistance was seen in 28% of VAMC isolates and 36% of CLC isolates, but only 6% of outpatient isolates, while MDR was found in 31% of VAMC isolates and 36% of CLC isolates, but only 8 % of outpatient isolates. Carbapenem-resistant, multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant A. baumannii isolates decreased significantly in VAMCs and outpatient clinics over time (VAMCs: by 4.9, 7.2 and 6.9%; outpatient: by 11.3, 10.5 and 10.2% per year). Resistant phenotypes remained stable in CLCs.

Conclusion: In the VA nationally, the prevalence of A. baumannii is decreasing, as is resistance. Carbapenem-resistant and multidrug-resistant A. baumannii remain common in VAMCs and CLCs. The focus of infection control and antimicrobial stewardship efforts to prevent transmission of resistant A. baumannii should be in hospital and LTC settings.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of Medical Microbiology