Catheters can trigger lurking A. baumannii, causing second infection: study

In a recent study, St. Louis-based Washington University School of Medicine researchers found Acinetobacter baumannii, an antibiotic-resistant bacterium responsible for many hospital-associated infections, can resurge after a catheter insertion.

The study, published in Science Translational Medicine on Jan. 11, used mice with urinary tract infections. Researchers infected mice with A. baumannii, which displayed high bacterial burdens in urine for several weeks. Two months after resolving the infection, researchers inserted a catheter into the bladder. Approximately 53 percent of mice had a resurgence of a same-strain urinary tract infection within 24 hours.

Researchers identified intracellular A. baumannii in the bladder epithelial cells of mice with resolved infections, which could act as a host reservoir. The reservoir can be activated when a catheter is inserted, leading to a resurgent infection.

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