Comparison of one-tube multiplex PCR, automated ribotyping and intergenic spacer (ITS) sequencing for rapid identification of Acinetobacter baumannii

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2007 Aug;13(8):801-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2007.01744.x. Epub 2007 May 4.


Acinetobacter baumannii has emerged as a serious cause of nosocomial infections. Rapid identification of this pathogen is required so that appropriate therapy can be given and outbreaks controlled. This study evaluated a multiplex PCR and an automated ribotyping system for the rapid identification of Acinetobacter baumannii. In total, 22 different reference strains and 138 clinical isolates of Acinetobacter spp., identified by 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer (ITS) sequence analysis, were evaluated. All A. baumannii isolates (82 clinical isolates and one reference strain) were identified by the multiplex PCR method (specificity 100%). The sensitivity and specificity of the ribotyping system for identification of A. baumannii were 85.5% (71/83) and 93.5% (72/77), respectively. An additional 100 clinical isolates belonging to the Acinetobacter calcoaceticus-A. baumannii complex were used to compare these two methods for identification of A. baumannii, and this comparison revealed a level of disagreement of 14% (14 isolates). The accuracy of the multiplex PCR was 100%, which was confirmed by sequence analysis of the ITS and recA gene of these isolates. Thus, the multiplex PCR method dramatically increased the efficiency and speed of A. baumannii identification.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acinetobacter Infections / genetics*
  • Acinetobacter baumannii / classification
  • Acinetobacter baumannii / genetics*
  • Acinetobacter baumannii / isolation & purification
  • DNA, Intergenic / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Ribotyping / methods
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • DNA, Intergenic