Acinetobacter baumannii is a leading cause of healthcare-associated infections worldwide. Because of various intrinsic and acquired mechanisms of resistance, most β-lactam agents are not effective against many strains, and carbapenems have played an important role in therapy. Recent trends show many infections are caused by carbapenem-resistant or even extensively drug-resistant (XDR) strains, for which effective therapy is not well established. Evidence to date suggests that colistin constitutes the backbone of therapy, but the unique pharmacokinetic properties of colistin have led many to suggest the use of combination antimicrobial therapy. However, the combination of agents and dosing regimens that delivers the best clinical efficacy while minimizing toxicity is yet to be defined. Carbapenems, sulbactam, rifampin and tigecycline have been the most studied in the context of combination therapy. Most data regarding therapy for invasive, resistant A. baumannii infections come from uncontrolled case series and retrospective analyses, though some clinical trials have been completed and others are underway. Early institution of appropriate antimicrobial therapy is shown to consistently improve survival of patients with carbapenem-resistant and XDR A. baumannii infection, but the choice of empiric therapy in these infections remains an open question. This review summarizes the most current knowledge regarding the epidemiology, mechanisms of resistance, and treatment considerations of carbapenem-resistant and XDR A. baumannii.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmacology (medical)