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Outbreak of Acinetobacter Infections at Florida Burn Unit

EMSL Analytical offers testing services that help prevent the spread of illnesses by identifying environmental pathogens in healthcare environments.


Cinnaminson, NJ, August 20th, 2013

Late last month, WTVL broadcast a report about seven patients at a Florida burn unit that have tested positive for Acinetobacter baumannii. Outbreaks of Acinetobacter infections typically occur in intensive care units and healthcare settings housing very ill patients.

According to the report, the infections occurred between March and July of this year. It also reported that although the hospital has not yet determined the source of the pathogen, molecular testing indicates it may have come from a single source.

Acinetobacter baumannii typically poses very little risk to healthy people. However, people who have a weakened immune system, chronic lung disease or diabetes may be more susceptible to infections. Hospitalized patients, especially very ill patients on a ventilator, those with a prolonged hospital stay, those who have open wounds, or any person with invasive devices like urinary catheters are also at greater risk for the infection.

Acinetobacter is a group of bacteria commonly found in soil and water. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Acinetobacter baumannii accounts for approximately 80% of reported infections from this genus.

“Whenever there is an outbreak, it’s important to identify the source of the Acinetobacter baumannii as infections caused by it can be resistant to many commonly prescribed antibiotics,” reported Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “It can be spread to susceptible persons by person-to-person contact or contact with contaminated surfaces. Careful attention to infection control procedures is important to reduce the risk of transmission. EMSL provides testing services for Acinetobacter baumannii to help identify the source of an outbreak and to proactively test healthcare environments to ensure that patients are not being exposed to this microbe.

"EMSL has also sponsored an educational video about Acinetobacter that can be seen at: To learn more about testing for Acinetobacter baumannii or other microbial pathogens, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.



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