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Analysis of Acinetobacter baumannii survival in liquid media and on solid matrices as well as effect of disinfectants

  • Author Footnotes
    † Authors contributed equally to this work.
    Z. Bravo
    Footnotes
    † Authors contributed equally to this work.
    Affiliations
    Department of Immunology, Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Leioa, Spain

    Instituto de Investigación Valdecilla IDIVAL, Santander, Spain
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  • Author Footnotes
    † Authors contributed equally to this work.
    M. Orruño
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Address: Department of Immunology, Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Barrio Sarriena s/n, 48940 Leioa, Spain. Tel.: +34 946012688.
    Footnotes
    † Authors contributed equally to this work.
    Affiliations
    Department of Immunology, Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Leioa, Spain

    Research Centre for Experimental Marine Biology and Biotechnology (PIE-UPV/EHU), Plentzia, Spain
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  • T. Navascues
    Affiliations
    Department of Immunology, Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Leioa, Spain

    Instituto de Investigación Valdecilla IDIVAL, Santander, Spain
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  • E. Ogayar
    Affiliations
    Department of Immunology, Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Leioa, Spain
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  • J. Ramos-Vivas
    Affiliations
    Instituto de Investigación Valdecilla IDIVAL, Santander, Spain
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  • V.R. Kaberdin
    Affiliations
    Department of Immunology, Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Leioa, Spain

    Research Centre for Experimental Marine Biology and Biotechnology (PIE-UPV/EHU), Plentzia, Spain

    Ikerbasque, Basque Foundation for Science, Bilbao, Spain
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  • I. Arana
    Affiliations
    Department of Immunology, Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Leioa, Spain

    Research Centre for Experimental Marine Biology and Biotechnology (PIE-UPV/EHU), Plentzia, Spain
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    † Authors contributed equally to this work.
Published:April 12, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2019.04.009

      Summary

      Background

      Acinetobacter baumannii is a cause of healthcare-associated infections and has considerable potential to survive on inanimate hospital surfaces under hostile conditions (e.g. disinfection or desiccation).

      Aim

      To learn more about its survival strategy and capacity to persist in liquid media and on surfaces mimicking hospital environments.

      Methods

      The effect of temperature, nutrient deprivation, permanence on inanimate surfaces, and exposure to disinfectants on the survival of four A. baumannii strains (ATCC 19606T and three clinical isolates) was studied by monitoring the number of total and viable cells using fluorescent microscopy and of culturable cells by standard cultures.

      Findings

      Bacterial survival was differentially affected by temperature (cells maintained at 20°C remained culturable at least within 30 days) and physical environment (desiccation favoured cell resistance to stress at 37°C). Moreover, persistence was associated with two adaptation patterns: one linked to entry into the viable but non-culturable state, whereas the other apparently followed a bust-and-boom model. During a study on the effect of disinfectant (commercial bleach and quaternary ammonium compounds), it was found that treatment with these antibacterial compounds did not eliminate A. baumannii populations and provoked the reduction of culturable populations, although a fraction of cells remained culturable.

      Conclusion

      The ability to persist for long periods on different surfaces, mimicking those usually found in hospitals, along with A. baumannii's capacity to survive after a disinfection process may account for the recurrent outbreaks in intensive care units.

      Keywords

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