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"By early 2005, nearly one-third of the wounded soldiers admitted to the National Naval Medical Center had been colonized by the bacteria."
January 22, 2007 8:04 AM   Subscribe

Rumors were circulating at the hospital that insurgents dosed their homemade bombs with the flesh of dead animals. ---multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter, and how we brought it to Iraq ourselves. "My colleagues and I have been looking for Acinetobacter baumannii in soil samples for years, and we haven't found it," she says. "These organisms are quite rare outside of hospitals." In other news, conditions in Iraqi hospitals are so bad due to lack of even the most basic supplies they're calling it a breach of the Geneva Conventions.
posted by amberglow (62 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Political posturing. There are no solutions. From 1999:

Last month, Project Hope, the American medical charity, shipped $1.5 million worth of emergency supplies to the Kosovo refugees. But relief workers desperate for syringes, penicillin and insulin found many of the hundreds of boxes instead contained Chap Stick, Preparation H and anti-smoking inhalers -- given by U.S. companies that got a tax break for the donations.
posted by phaedon at 8:09 AM on January 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wow. There's already so many other directions this post could go -- Iraqfilter, drug resistance in hospitals -- I wouldn't've thought of the "business as usual" angle.
posted by pax digita at 8:26 AM on January 22, 2007


So, this iraq war, it's bad?
posted by empath at 8:26 AM on January 22, 2007


Well it's a good thing that war supporters are willing to pay the price. And by that I don't mean the price of medical supplies-- I mean the price of bearing the heavy moral burden that comes from accepting the suffering of innocents as worthwhile.

If ever Laura Bush wanted to take up a cause to keep Tony Kushner at bay, this would be the one, wouldn't it?
posted by hermitosis at 8:28 AM on January 22, 2007


It's Monday morning and I'm about to go to work. "Business as usual" is about all you're going to get out of me, that's for sure.
posted by phaedon at 8:31 AM on January 22, 2007


Unless I'm mistaken, the article in the first link is by our own digaman. Congrats, Steve - great article!
posted by mosk at 8:32 AM on January 22, 2007


Thanks, mosk. I really appreciate it. And thanks to amberglow for the link. It's a lengthy read, but there are a lot of issues addressed in it, from bacterial evolution, to a health crisis among vets, to the nature of war from a medical standpoint.
posted by digaman at 8:38 AM on January 22, 2007


Antibiotic resistance is scary stuff, and we are reaping the whirlwind from several fronts:

1. Antibiotics (especially broad-spectrum antibiotics) have been way overprescribed. Most of the time, this approach has been like using a bazooka to kill a mosquito. Wasteful and dangerous, it has been the lazy but (mostly) effective way.

2.Heavy antibiotic use in livestock feed, for the same reasons as above.

3. Lack of research into new antibiotics. There's not as much fast money in antibiotics as there is in cholesterol meds or boner pills. Shameful - another example of why we worship the profit motive at our own peril sometimes.

What to do? Lobby, of course. Don't insist on antibiotics from your physician unless absolutely necessary. And, very important: if you are prescribed antibiotics, complete the regimen. If you don't finish, any buggers that survive might have learned how to be stronger.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:40 AM on January 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Great article, digaman!
posted by The White Hat at 8:42 AM on January 22, 2007


There are a lot of issues addressed in it....

One that's mentioned in passing but not discussed in detail -- it's not really the main thrust of digaman's article -- is how potentially deadly it is for your medical records not to follow you from one facility to another.

An accurate evaluation of his case was difficult, however, because portions of his medical records never arrived from Bethesda. If they had, they would have shown a positive test for a kind of bacteria called Acinetobacter baumannii.

It's especially sobering to consider that this could've been caught but wasn't.
posted by pax digita at 8:48 AM on January 22, 2007


Indeed.

Thanks, Benny. You're so right. I wrote a little sidebar focusing on the lack on research into new antibiotics that is running with the online version of my article only:
Requiem for the Magic Bullets

I wish I'd had more space to get into that more deeply in the main article, but at least it's in the sidebar.
posted by digaman at 8:54 AM on January 22, 2007


The wounded soldiers were not smuggling bacteria from the desert into military hospitals after all. Instead, they were picking it up there. The evacuation chain itself had become the primary source of infection. By creating the most heroic and efficient means of saving lives in the history of warfare, the Pentagon had accidentally invented a machine for accelerating bacterial evolution and was airlifting the pathogens halfway around the world.

Damn. Thanks for this, amberglow. The article's link to acinetobacter.org is worth exploring, too.

Political posturing. There are no solutions.

What a load of horseshit. Next time, how about waiting until *after* work and read the freaking article before leaping to be the first comment:

The CSHs had to be run more like real hospitals, with frequent scrub-downs, stringent hand-washing, and HEPA filters to clean the air. The dead tissue surrounding "frag?" wounds turned out to be an ideal colonization site for the bugs, so it had to be removed more aggressively up front. "If you don't have that necrotic tissue, your own innate defenses help keep the wound clean," says Kim Moran, a tropical-disease specialist who assisted the investigation when she worked at Walter Reed. Wound dressings needed to be changed less often, so bacteria from the hospital environ-ment had less opportunity to get in. And the broad-spectrum anti-biotics had to be reserved for the treatment of identified bugs.

At first, these reforms ran into a major obstacle: Each link in the evacuation chain was owned by a different branch of the DOD.


"Business as usual," my ass. The spread from soldiers to civilians in nearby wards is kind of shocking; you'd think we'd have heard of this bit:

A major outbreak in Chicago two years ago infected 81 patients, killing at least 14...In Europe, multidrug-resistant acinetobacter is spreading through civilian hospitals, precipitating a public health crisis. A 2003-2004 epidemic hit more than 50 hospitals and long-term care facilities in France, making scores of patients sick and killing 34 people. Thirty-nine infected patients died at St. Mary's Hospital in London two years ago.

A new multi-drug-resistant strain kills *14* people in a Chicago hospital and it's not national news? Unbelievable.
posted by mediareport at 9:00 AM on January 22, 2007 [3 favorites]


I can leap in whenever the fuck I want, mediareport, and in case you read me wrong, I'm a hopeless pessimist when it comes to stories like these, particularly the notion that "we can save hundreds of lives" if some "eminent doctors" write a "letter to the minister" advocating the use of surgical gloves. pardon me for reading into the story in my own unique way, and kindly go fuck yourself.
posted by phaedon at 9:06 AM on January 22, 2007 [3 favorites]


Whatever. Read the article first next time.
posted by mediareport at 9:12 AM on January 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Acinetobacter is more common than you think. it's a bitch to get rid of and usually very resistant to antibiotics.
posted by brandz at 9:14 AM on January 22, 2007


so years after looking for wmd in iraq, mother nature has finally given us one

talk about self-fulfilling prophecies
posted by pyramid termite at 9:17 AM on January 22, 2007


These things are floating around non-warzone hospitals as well. My gf's cousin has been fighting with recurring MRSA infections over the last 6 months or so.
posted by antifuse at 9:24 AM on January 22, 2007


If the bug really were a WMD, it would be classic irony. Fortunately, per digaman, they're only an issue for the immuno-compromised. Certainly not GOOD by any means, but not WMD-level stuff.

phaedon says: Political posturing. There are no solutions.

Oh, fer chrissake, why don't you just put a gun to your head and kill yourself now? It's all hopeless anyway.

Of course there are solutions. The simple ones aren't even particularly difficult or expensive. Over the long term, we need heavy investment in new antibiotics, which will be expensive and difficult to produce, but there's plenty to be done over the short term. "Hygiene" comes to mind.

Whether the fundamentalists like it or not, life evolves; bacteria evolve faster than anything else. We need to adapt or die, as we have always done.

One kinda throwaway idea I found fascinating... the fact that bacteria can pick up genes from other bacteria. I've read about this before, but it struck me again as both interesting and a bit scary. The little bastards are cooperating agin' us! :)
posted by Malor at 9:39 AM on January 22, 2007


Empath: So, this iraq war, it's bad?

Nah, its just the liberal media, Associated Press, Reuters making things up again. Just go back to reading Michelle Malkin and everything will be fine.
posted by bhouston at 9:40 AM on January 22, 2007


Acinetobacter spp are widely distributed in nature. They are able to survive on various surfaces (both moist and dry) in the hospital environment, thereby being an important source of infection in debilitated patients. Occasional strains are isolated from foodstuffs and some are able to survive on various medical equipment and even on healthy human skin.
That's bad news indeed. Also fascinating is the experimental use of viruses to attack resistant bacteria, a practice known as Phage therapy
posted by elpapacito at 9:47 AM on January 22, 2007


Not really a throwaway idea, though, Malor:
When a team of geneticists unlocked the secret of the bug's rapid evolution in 2005, they found that one strain of multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii carries the largest collection of genetic upgrades ever discovered in a single organism. Out of its 52 genes dedicated to defeating antibiotics, radiation, and other weapons of mass bacterial destruction, nearly all have been bootlegged from other bad bugs like Salmonella, Pseudomonas, and Escherichia coli.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:50 AM on January 22, 2007


Ops forgot a mention, same link as above
In August 2006, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved spraying meat with phages. This has raised concerns since without mandatory labelling consumers won't be aware that meat and poultry products have been treated with the spray.
posted by elpapacito at 9:50 AM on January 22, 2007


phaedon, the first words out of your mouth were begging for a pile-on, so give up the act already.
posted by dhartung at 9:54 AM on January 22, 2007


people versus germs: it's well-established that the germs can evolve much faster than the people, that they can swap drug-resistance genes between different species right there in your tummy. people's edge is that they're supposed to be smarter than the germs. how much smarter than the germs do the people need to be, and are they smart _enough_ in accordance with this standard?
posted by bruce at 9:58 AM on January 22, 2007


One kinda throwaway idea I found fascinating... the fact that bacteria can pick up genes from other bacteria.

If you're into that type of stuff, this wikipedia article might be a good start. The section titled "Prokaryotes" starts to explain how this works.
posted by peeedro at 10:02 AM on January 22, 2007


Antibiotic resistance is scary stuff

Not when it's wrapped around high explosive. Suicide germ bombers don't take anyone with them.
posted by three blind mice at 10:21 AM on January 22, 2007


"Suicide germ bombers don't take anyone with them."
"So, this iraq war, it's bad?"
"war supporters are willing to pay the price."

Jeez folks, read the damn article. The article isn't about the politics of the war, and post itself says the germ wasn't spread by insurgents. It's a great read about medicine, and how war conditions facilitate the spread of infection through a population, and across continents. Just like in WWI influenza epidemic.
posted by tula at 11:30 AM on January 22, 2007


"The bugs are outpacing us, and these drugs are not the kind that bring in incredible profits," ...

That statement turned my stomach. I have an inherent distrust of the pharmaceutical industry. Their prime directive as a corporation is profit, not helping the sick. Yet they are largely responsible for the direction US medical science research takes.

Ah, if only someone rich and famous would catch any of these superbugs.

Or perhaps Angolie Jolie could adopt one of these pathogens ...
posted by YoBananaBoy at 11:39 AM on January 22, 2007


Pushing a new drug to FDA approval takes $5-10 billion. I too, would love to see more emphasis on the antibiotics pipeline, but given the costly outlay, investors place heavy pressures to work on consistently profitable drugs.

Drugs for chronic conditions like high cholesterol or high blood pressure simply bring in more money, more consistently than an antibiotic that, if working as advertised, is used only on a tiny fraction of the population for a week or two.

Rich & famous would be nice, but there's few ultra-rich people with the wherewithal to throw down $10 billion. Same goes for the non-profits, unfortunately.
posted by NucleophilicAttack at 11:48 AM on January 22, 2007


> I have an inherent distrust of the pharmaceutical industry.

I have too. But I'm somewhat unclear about which for-love mom 'n' pop molecular biology lab we'd get our phrama from if we didn't have the for-profit industry.
posted by jfuller at 11:52 AM on January 22, 2007


There is a huge amount of non-profit drug and medial research being doine, billions and billions of dollars worth, both in the US, as well as the UK and many other industrialized nations
posted by delmoi at 12:09 PM on January 22, 2007


For those interested in how bad it really is at Walter Reed. Here's their data. For some isolates, there is quite literally no treatment.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 12:17 PM on January 22, 2007


er "done". Don't know how that 'i' got in there. here is an overview of the NIH budget, $28 billion dollars for 2007. $15 billion for research grants. The British Medical Research Council spends about $2.3 billion a year on Research and R&D.
posted by delmoi at 12:17 PM on January 22, 2007


I worked in an immunology lab for a while. I never ran into the "mom 'n pop" molecular biology lab. Most were university, military or government funded labs. I did have to work with small four to ten sized university-lab "spin-offs" that did specific work, like flow cytometry or genotyping for profit.

The private sector is different, I know. I just don't know why we have legal fictions that aren't held to the same moral standard that we hopefully hold to ourselves.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 12:18 PM on January 22, 2007


And great article.

sorry for the derail.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 12:24 PM on January 22, 2007


I have too. But I'm somewhat unclear about which for-love mom 'n' pop molecular biology lab we'd get our phrama from if we didn't have the for-profit industry.

This is exactly the kind of thing government is good at, and good for. Even conservatives would have to go into gyrations to argue against funding this kind of research.

They're big on defense spending, which is protecting against threats that are too large for individuals to deal with. Antibiotic research is exactly the same thing; pooling money and resources to handle a threat that smaller entities can't or won't. Markets don't solve all problems.
posted by Malor at 12:43 PM on January 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


if only someone rich and famous would catch any of these superbugs.

Rosie O'Donnell nearly died of MRSA (methicillin-resistant staph) a few years ago. There definitely needs to be more coverages of antibiotic resistance in the press, as opposed to the latest hysteria about anthrax and bird flu.
posted by digaman at 12:59 PM on January 22, 2007


*coverage
posted by digaman at 12:59 PM on January 22, 2007


One figure in my article that bears repeating: At least 90,000 Americans die every year from bacterial infections they pick up in the hospital, most of them antibiotic resistant. 90,000. Americans. Die. Each Year. From hospital-acquired infections.

And yet, the Bush administration just spent $877 million on developing an anthrax vaccine... that didn't work.

Can you imagine if 90,000 Americans died every year from anthrax?
posted by digaman at 1:05 PM on January 22, 2007


FWIW, screwed up my left hand in 1994 thanx to a post-injury staph infection (incompletely amputated 2 fingertips, avulsed the nail beds, crushed the distal phalanges to splinters -- pin sites (to stabilize tips so bone shards could knit) got infected and my fingers looked like the Elephant Man's. It took a couple of lavages for my sister, a CCRN, to start to get worried about whether the ciprofloxacin was going to work or not. Even my surgeon told me, much later, that at one point he was seriously about to amputate but decided to give it 12 more hours.
posted by pax digita at 1:10 PM on January 22, 2007


This is exactly the kind of thing government is good at, and good for. Even conservatives would have to go into gyrations to argue against funding this kind of research....

Exactly. It chaps my ass every time this big government/small government argument comes up because, at least for the last several decades, the "small -government conservative" asshats have shown themselves to be disingenuous at best. Their whole argument is "spending for what we want=good and spending for what everyone else wants=bad".

Armaments, corporate welfare, and quid pro quo projects are good while universal insurance and health care, workers' rights, and responsible government are bad. /rant
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:25 PM on January 22, 2007


Holy moly, pax!
posted by digaman at 2:28 PM on January 22, 2007


Great post amberglow, scarily fascinating and excellent article digaman!

The situation in Iraqi hospitals, discussed in the second link of the original post, is an outrage. "The lack of rubber surgical gloves, which cost 3.5p a pair, has hugely increased the risk of infections."

Due to the desperate lack of supplies in hospitals, more than a quarter of a million Iraqi children are estimated to have died since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Heartbreaking.

Interesting what was said: "Rumors were circulating at the hospital that insurgents dosed their homemade bombs with the flesh of dead animals."

Rumors in war time about any number of things have had serious, and sometimes historic, consequences. For example when the rumor circulated in India that British bullets were greased with cow fat (anathema to the Hindus) or with pork fat (anathema to the Muslims) it created such a furor that it started the Indian Rebellion of 1857, which brought about the end of the British East India Company's rule in India.

The name for opportunistic infections picked up in hospitals is nosocomial. Wikipedia states 88,000 deaths per year in the USA due to this and digaman reports 90,000.

In my experience of hospitals and doctors covering up mistakes and the families of somebody recently deceased being too distraught to make a claim against a hospital, I'd imagine those figures about death from nosocomial infection in hospitals may well be substantially higher.

Having just spent time in two filthy, staggeringly expensive hospitals (Lenox Hill and St. Lukes) in NYC, I was appalled at the lack of hygiene in both hospitals, which wasn't up to a really bad gas station bathroom. When I was up at night in the hospital, talking with doctors or nurses, discussing the hospital cleanliness situation, they told me that, for example, patients who came in with a neurological emergency, who were only on an IV, routinely left with diarrhea caught from nosocomial infection.

A friend who worked in both St. Vincent's and Mt. Sinai, said those hospitals were filthy too with disgusting, malfunctioning ventilation systems, slacker maintenance staff.

What the hell is going on with filthy hospitals in NYC? It makes it ripe for nosocomial infections. Are hospitals also filthy outside of NYC too or in other states?

According to Wikipedia: Handwashing frequently is called the single most important measure to reduce the risks of transmitting microorganisms from one person to another or from one site to another on the same patient.

antifuse, Really sorry to hear about your girlfriend's cousin having to deal with MRSA. yikes.
posted by nickyskye at 3:05 PM on January 22, 2007


ps pax, I'm truly glad most of the rest of your hand was saved and sorry to hear you had to endure that horror.
posted by nickyskye at 3:07 PM on January 22, 2007


Can you imagine if 90,000 Americans died every year from anthrax?

You're probably too young for the AARP Bulletin, digaman, but that was exactly my thought when I read their current issue. The lead story, Dirty Hospitals (plus the top two stories in the sidebar on the right), talks about the 90,000. It doesn't seem like hospital patients are among those included in all the current 'Keep America Safe' rhetoric.

how potentially deadly it is for your medical records not to follow you from one facility to another.

This month as I was reading that (and your excellent Wired article, d., which arrived in the mail Saturday), my wife and sister-in-law have been tag-team shuttling back and forth between the Northeast and South Florida where their mom had surgery, and the hospital kept screwing up her medicines so that her blood pressure almost killed her a few times. Then, in the rehab center, the same wrong dosages came over with her records, so it almost happened again. Also, the teacher my wife called, to subsititute for her while she had to be away, said the same thing had happened with her husband, who was prescribed a medicine that, because of his Parkinson's disease, would have stopped his breathing.

I haven't done time in hospitals, but it sounds like if you don't have your own native guide along for the ride these days, watching every move they make, you're in big trouble. Whether the superbugs get you or not.
posted by LeLiLo at 3:31 PM on January 22, 2007


pax, i'm glad too.

nicky, i've only been in St. Clare's for any real length of time (it's now St. Vincent's midtown) but it seemed clean enough. Granted, i wasn't really paying attention at the time--and that's no indication of this kind of resistant stuff. I wonder if there's really something to the atmosphere at hospitals making people sick--maybe it's really been this kind of thing all along?
posted by amberglow at 3:32 PM on January 22, 2007


/derail, amberglow, It looks like Midtown St. Vincent's is closing down.

I highly recommend St. Lukes on 10th Avenue and 59th Street. In spite of lousy hygience it has, in my experience, superb doctors, nurses and excellent technology. If you have an emergency, while in our neighborhood, go there.

The EMS technicians told me they thought the best hospitals in NYC (and the most hygenic being the East 68th Street one) were:

New York-Presbyterian Hospital: New York Weill Cornell Medical Center
www.nyp.org
525 E 68th St # K615
New York, NY 10021
(212) 746-5454

and

Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital
622 W 168th St # 137
New York, NY 10032
(212) 305-2995

More about nosocomial infection.
posted by nickyskye at 4:11 PM on January 22, 2007


I'm not surprised, nicky--it had a terrible rep for ages. (it's the closest to my house tho, and it was an emergency--hopefully, i won't have any more but if i do, i'll have to go St. Lukes, i guess). I've heard that NY-Presbyterian, Beth Israel, and NYU are the best overall--and Mt. Sinai's only good for childbirth.


It turns out Forbes covered this stuff last year but blamed it on the Iraqi soil (following the DOD's spin).-- The Iraq Infection-- Military doctors are fighting to contain an outbreak of a potentially deadly drug-resistant bacteria that apparently originated in the Iraqi soil. ...
posted by amberglow at 5:41 PM on January 22, 2007


and this is weird, from the Forbes article: ...Merlin Clark, a civilian contractor who was in Iraq doing humanitarian de-mining, was also infected with Acinetobacter and treated at Walter Reed, according to his wife, Marcie Hascall Clark. "My biggest problem," she says, "isn't so much that my husband had it, but why didn't they tell me about it?"

Would he have had to have been treated at one of our facilities? Or did he just get it being there?
posted by amberglow at 5:43 PM on January 22, 2007


and this at Forbes too says : ...The Acinetobacter was found by Scott in the soil in Iraq. ...
posted by amberglow at 5:45 PM on January 22, 2007


Yes indeed. That article is odd, because the Forbes reporter came so close to the truth, but then missed it. As I point out in the article, Paul Scott's team did find acinetobacter in the soil -- under a dripping air conditioner outside of a US field hospital in Mosul, which, as Scott put it last spring at an epidemiologist's meeting, "more likely reflected the interior of the facility than the outside." But that's not mentioned in the Forbes article.

Merlin Clark was treated at Camp Dogwood I believe, one of the suspect locations mentioned in my article, and then went on to Landstuhl and Walter Reed.
posted by digaman at 5:52 PM on January 22, 2007


I worked in medical records. I can't believe the way patients' files are treated. I'm surprised many more medical issues don't occur as a result of outdated or misfiled paperwork (and if you're looking for something else to worry about, I'm also very surprised SSN-swiping from medical records isn't a bigger deal).
posted by booksandlibretti at 6:24 PM on January 22, 2007


Merlin Clark was treated at Camp Dogwood I believe, one of the suspect locations mentioned in my article, and then went on to Landstuhl and Walter Reed.
Ahh...i didn't know we treated civilian contractors at the army bases and airlifted them and stuff.

booksand, i've heard a lot of worries about that from people in the UK--their national id thing is going to be linked to their national health (and i guess ours already is, bec of SS numbers).
posted by amberglow at 7:29 PM on January 22, 2007


/derail, amberglow Beth Israel has had a bad rep for about five years now. Some corruption I heard going on at the top level. I know two people who died there in the last few years and heard nothing but horror stories about their treatment of cancer. It used to be excellent and has gone down hill.

I've heard Mt. Sinai is respected these days and NYU. Here's the New York mag rundown on the best ones.

From the Forbes article: "Acinetobacter was also the second most common pathogen in Vietnam. Lt. Cmdr. Kyle Petersen, an infectious disease specialist at National Naval Medical Center, notes that aside from Vietnam, the other cases where Acinetobacter infection turned up include after the bombings in Bali and the earthquakes in Turkey."

More about Acinetobacter. And from The Alliance For the Prudent Use of Antibiotics.
posted by nickyskye at 7:54 PM on January 22, 2007


I think the name "pax digita" takes on a whole new meaning in light of those nearly amputated fingers...

May your fingers remain at peace.

(And great article, digaman.)
posted by BLDGBLOG at 9:58 PM on January 22, 2007


This was an excellent piece of reporting, digaman. Thanks.
posted by homunculus at 11:43 PM on January 22, 2007


Thanks, guys!

Nicky, just FYI, that notion about acinetobacter in Vietnam has since been debunked [PDF link]. It was one of the mistaken assumptions that led the military to believe that the source of the bacteria was the Iraqi soil.
posted by digaman at 7:11 AM on January 23, 2007


Thanks for the info digaman.

So acinetobacter is not found in soil generally, unless it's there due to hospital waste?

And that info about it being the second most common pathogen in Vietnam is incorrect, or only inncorrect out of army hospitals?

Is it wrong about it appearing in Bali due to soil found in wounds after the bombing? Sorry to ask so many questions but you seem the right person to ask about this.
posted by nickyskye at 9:33 AM on January 23, 2007


In the article, it says that Acinetobacter is found in soil, but the strain that's causing the deaths the article talks about is not.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:45 AM on January 23, 2007


Sounds like a bacteria that flourishes in otherwise sterile environments...
posted by delmoi at 9:49 AM on January 23, 2007


That's right, Kirth. Acinetobacter baumannii is not found in soil, but many other Acinetobacter species are.

Nicky, the article I posted casts significant doubt on the notion that soldiers in the Vietnam era were infected with Acinetobacter. I don't know what's behind the story in Bali.
posted by digaman at 12:02 PM on January 23, 2007


Thanks for the informative answers. Much appreciated. :)
posted by nickyskye at 7:10 PM on January 23, 2007


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