Pathogenic bacteria have increasingly been resisting to antimicrobial therapy. Recently, resistance problem has been relatively much worsened in Gram-negative bacilli. Acinetobacter spp. are typical nosocomial pathogens causing infections and high mortality, almost exclusively in compromised hospital patients. Acinetobacter spp. are intrinsically less susceptible to antibiotics than Enterobacteriaceae, and have propensity to acquire resistance. A surveillance study in Korea in 2009 showed that resistance rates of Acinetobacter spp. were very high: to fluoroquinolone 67%, to amikacin 48%, to ceftazidime 66% and to imipenem 51%. Carbapenem resistance was mostly due to OXA type carbapenemase production in A. baumannii isolates, whereas it was due to metallo-β-lactamase production in non-baumannii Acinetobacter isolates. Colistin-resistant isolates were rare but started to be isolated in Korea. Currently, the infection caused by multidrug-resistant A. baumannii is among the most difficult ones to treat. Analysis at tertiary care hospital in 2010 showed that among the 1,085 isolates of Acinetobacter spp., 14.9% and 41.8% were resistant to seven, and to all eight antimicrobial agents tested, respectively. It is known to be difficult to prevent Acinetobacter spp. infection in hospitalized patients, because the organisms are ubiquitous in hospital environment. Efforts to control resistant bacteria in Korea by hospitals, relevant scientific societies and government agencies have only partially been successful. We need concerted multidisciplinary efforts to preserve the efficacy of currently available antimicrobial agents, by following the principles of antimicrobial stewardship.
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