To study the possible predisposing factors, clinical features, molecular epidemiology, and factors affecting mortality associated with bacteremia due to Acinetobacter baumannii, we reviewed 87 episodes of A. baumannii bacteremia occurring in 79 patients hospitalized at 2 university tertiary care centers and 4 community-based hospitals during a recent 18-month period. Plasmid DNA analysis and analysis of genomic DNA with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis was performed to investigate possible epidemiologic relationship. All patients acquired their infections in the hospital, and no seasonal variation was observed. Among patients with A. baumannii bacteremia, 91% were hospitalized in an intensive care unit, 99% had indwelling vascular catheters, 81% received prior broad spectrum antimicrobial therapy, 70% were mechanically ventilated, and 47% had major surgical procedures. In 39 cases (45%) the infection was related to indwelling vascular access devices. Other infections included pneumonia (9%), tracheobronchitis (22%), meningitis (2%), and burn wound infections (4%). Septic shock occurred in 30% of patients. All isolates were multidrug resistant. Polymicrobial bacteremia was observed in 35% of cases. The crude mortality rate was 44%. Death was considered attributable to A. baumannii bacteremia in 15 (19%) patients. All patients with pneumonia as the primary site of infection died. Using multivariate analysis, we identified 3 independent predictors of mortality: the presence of a rapidly or ultimately fatal underlying disease (p = 0.0009), septic shock at the onset of bacteremia (p = 0.0013), and mechanical ventilation (p = 0.016). Epidemiologic typing revealed that 82 episodes were associated with different hospital outbreaks of infection, and only 7 episodes were due to epidemiologically unrelated strains.