Oral colonization of Acinetobacter baumannii in intensive care units: Risk factors, incidence, molecular epidemiology, association with the occur of pneumonia and sepsis, and infection control measures

Document Type : Original Article


1 Medical Microbiology Department. Inonu University Medical Faculty, Malatya, Turkey

2 Infection Disease Department. Inonu University Medical Faculty, Malatya, Turkey

3 Biostatistics and Medical Informatics Department. Inonu University Medical Faculty, Malatya, Turkey

4 Infection Control Committee, Turgut Ozal Medical Center, Malatya, Turkey


Objective(s): Oral colonization of Acinetobacter baumannii can lead to infections such as pneumonia and sepsis. We aimed to evaluate oral colonization of hospitalized patients in ICUs and to examine risk factors for oral colonization, molecular epidemiology, and incidence of pneumonia and sepsis. 
Materials and Methods: The study began in February 2021. Oral cultures were taken. The microorganisms were identified by a Maldi-tof MS mass spectrometry device. Colistin resistance genes were investigated by polymerase chain reaction. Clonal relationships were determined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. 
Results: A. baumannii was found in 21 of 96 patients’ oral cultures. Pneumonia and sepsis due to A. baumannii were detected in 14 and 5 patients, respectively. The mean growth time of A. baumannii from oral cultures was 11.8 days, and the meantime for the occurrence of pneumonia after oral growth was 5.2 days. We determined a plasmid mediated mcr-2 colistin resistance gene in a colistin susceptible A. baumannii strain. It is the first report of the plasmid mediated mcr-2 colistin resistance gene in our country. In total, fourteen different A. baumannii genotypes were determined in PFGE. It was determined that the effects of antibiotic use, oral motor dysfunction, mechanical ventilation, intubation, orogastric tube use, and total parenteral nutrition intake on oral colonization were statistically significant.
Conclusion: Oral colonization of A. baumannii is a significant concern in ICUs. We believe that it is important to take oral cultures and follow the risk factors and take infection control measures to prevent oral colonization of resistant isolates in ICUs.


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