Task force on management and prevention of Acinetobacter baumannii infections in the ICU

José Garnacho-Montero, George Dimopoulos, Garyphallia Poulakou, Murat Akova, José Miguel Cisneros, Jan De Waele, Nicola Petrosillo, Harald Seifert, Jean François Timsit, Jordi Vila, Jean Ralph Zahar, Matteo Bassetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Acinetobacterbaumannii constitutes a dreadful problem in many ICUs worldwide. The very limited therapeutic options available for these organisms are a matter of great concern. No specific guidelines exist addressing the prevention and management of A. baumannii infections in the critical care setting. Methods: Clinical microbiologists, infectious disease specialists and intensive care physicians were invited by the Chair of the Infection Section of the ESICM to participate in a multidisciplinary expert panel. After the selection of clinically relevant questions, this document provides recommendations about the use of microbiological techniques for identification of A. baumannii in clinical laboratories, antibiotic therapy for severe infections and recommendations to control this pathogen in outbreaks and endemic situations. Evidence supporting each statement was graded according to the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infection Diseases (ESCMID) grading system. Results: Empirical coverage of A. baumannii is recommended in severe infections (severe sepsis or septic shock) occurring during an A. baumannii outbreak, in an endemic setting, or in a previously colonized patient. For these cases, a polymyxin is suggested as part of the empirical treatment in cases of a high suspicion of a carbapenem-resistant (CR) A. baumannii strain. An institutional program including staff education, promotion of hand hygiene, strict contact and isolation precautions, environmental cleaning, targeted active surveillance, and antimicrobial stewardship should be instituted and maintained to combat outbreaks and endemic situations. Conclusions: Specific recommendations about prevention and management of A. baumannii infections in the ICU were elaborated by this multidisciplinary panel. The paucity of randomized controlled trials is noteworthy, so these recommendations are mainly based on observational studies and pharmacodynamics modeling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2057-2075
Number of pages19
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Oct 5 2015


  • Acinetobacter baumannii
  • Colistin
  • Epidemiology
  • Prevention
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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