Dr. Myrna Rezcallah
Acinetobacter was discovered in 1911 by Martinus Beijerinck. Acinetobacter baumannii didn't receive its scientific name until 1986. A. baumannii is now commonly referred to as "Iraqibacter" due to a rise in infections among US military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. After the Iraq War began in 2003, the frequency of cases began to rise, especially among patients in intensive care units. Patients using ventilators, catheters, have postoperative wounds, stay in the hospital for an extended period of time, or are immunocompromised are at a considerably higher risk of getting A. baumannii. Because of its large number of virulence factors and seemingly limitless capacity for antibiotic resistance, A. baumannii is a difficult illness to treat effectively. Individuals with multi-drug resistance A. baumannii (MDRAB) and carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii (CRAB) have significantly worse inpatient clinical outcomes. MDRAB and CRAB patients have around a 10% higher mortality rate and a 20% increased likelihood of being hospitalized for more than 10 days. In 2009, phage therapy was utilized for the first time to treat necrotizing pancreatitis and multi-drug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii pancreatic pseudocyst infection. Since then, bacteriophage therapy has become a unique treatment option to fight unresponsive multidrug-resistant bacterial infections. A. baumannii morbidity has decreased in the United States, with approximately 8,500 hospitalized patient cases in 2017. However, hospitalizations have recently increased due to coronavirus, which has begun to increase A. baumannii cases as well as its antibiotic resistance. The global incidence is currently around one million cases per year and is increasing.