Acinetobacter is a gram negative coconobacillus which can lead to strains resistant to all commercially available antibiotics. The bacteria are commonly isolated from the hospital environment from an organism of questionable pathogenicity to an infectious agent of importance.
Acinetobacter usually colonize rather than causing infection in respiratory secretions and urines of the recovering patients but are capable of infecting organ transplants and febrile neutropenia.
The occurrence of Acinetobacter isolates in respiratory discharges in intubated patients may symbolize colonization. Caution must be exercised in defining whether the isolate is because of colonization or is truly causing infection.