Community-acquired acinetobacter pneumonia

Am J Med. 1979 Jul;67(1):39-43. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(79)90071-8.


Acinetobacter calcoaceticus var anitratus, a nonfermentative grampnegative bacillus, has been infrequently reported as a cause of community-acquired pneumonia. In this paper we describe the course of six recent patients with community-acquired, bacteremic pneumonia due to this organism and review the six previously reported cases. Our experience suggests this organism is a more common cause of community-acquired pneumonia than previously thought. Acinetobacter pneumonia occurs in older persons with chronic disease, especially alcoholism. It is a fulminant illness with respiratory distress, hypoxemia, leukopenia and shock. Chest roentgenograms reveal a lobar or bronchopneumonic infiltrate which often becomes bilateral within 24 hours of admission to the hospital. Pleural effusions are common. The mortality rate is 43 per cent. Factors that predict a fatal outcome are granulocytopenia, empyema and therapy with inappropriate antibiotics. Therapy with appropriate antibiotics, especially carbenicillin and an aminoglycoside, increases survival.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acinetobacter Infections* / complications
  • Acinetobacter Infections* / diagnosis
  • Acinetobacter Infections* / mortality
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia* / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia* / etiology
  • Pneumonia* / mortality
  • Sepsis / complications


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents