Acinetobacter Pneumonia: A Review

Joshua D. Hartzell, MD, Andrew S. Kim, MD, Mark G. Kortepeter, MD, MPH, Kimberly A. Moran, MD

In This Article


The diagnosis of VAP is generally complicated, and it can be difficult to discriminate between true infection vs colonization. The diagnosis of AHAP and VAP should be based on clinical suspicion supported by radiographic and microbiologic data. Bronchoscopy, when available, is a useful adjunct to provide both diagnostic information as well as culture data for sensitivities to guide therapy. The American Thoracic Society/Infectious Disease Society of America (ATS/IDSA) guidelines provide a concise evidenced-based review on the diagnostic work-up of HAP and VAP.[68]

Acinetobacter will grow on routine laboratory media, including sheep blood agar; colony growth appears smooth, mucoid, and nonpigmented (yellowish to gray).[69] The classic gram stain appearance of Abc is a gram-negative coccobacilli but can vary, as previously mentioned. The organism is described as aerobic, but it can grow under anaerobic conditions, such as in blood culture media.


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