Shared care of military and civilian patients has resulted in transmission of multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (MDR-Aci) from military casualties to civilians. Current typing technologies have been useful in revealing relationships between isolates of A. baumannii but they are unable to resolve differences between closely related isolates from small-scale outbreaks, where chains of transmission are often unclear. In a recent hospital outbreak in Birmingham, six patients were colonised with MDR-Aci isolates indistinguishable using standard techniques. We used whole-genome sequencing to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms in these isolates, allowing us to discriminate between alternative epidemiological hypotheses in this setting.
Copyright (c) 2010. Published by Elsevier Ltd.