ICU-Associated Acinetobacter baumannii Colonisation/Infection in a High HIV-Prevalence Resource-Poor Setting

BACKGROUND: There are hardly any data about the incidence, risk factors and outcomes of ICU-associated A.baumannii colonisation/infection in HIV-infected and uninfected persons from resource-poor settings like Africa. METHODS: We reviewed the case records of patients with A.baumannii colonisation/infection admitted into the adult respiratory and surgical ICUs in Cape Town, South Africa, from January 1 to December 31 2008. In contrast to colonisation, infection was defined as isolation of A.baumannii from any biological site in conjunction with a compatible clinical picture warranting treatment with antibiotics effective against A.baumannii . RESULTS: The incidence of A.baumannii colonisation/infection in 268 patients was 15 per 100 person-years, with an in-ICU mortality of 26.5 per 100 person-years. The average length of stay in ICU was 15 days (range 1-150). A.baumannii was most commonly isolated from the respiratory tract followed by the bloodstream. Independent predictors of mortality included older age (p = 0.02), low CD4 count if HIV-infected (p = 0.038), surgical intervention (p = 0.047), co-morbid Gram-negative sepsis (p = 0.01), high APACHE-II score (p = 0.001), multi-organ dysfunction syndrome (p = 0.012), and a positive blood culture for A.baumannii (p = 0.017). Of 21 A.baumannii colonised/infected HIV-positive persons those with clinical AIDS (CD4<200 cells/mm 3 ) had significantly higher in-ICU mortality and were more likely to have a positive blood culture. Conclusion In this resource-poor setting A.baumannii infection in critically ill patients is common and associated with high mortality. HIV co-infected patients with advanced immunosuppression are at higher risk of death.