Soldiers contracted drug-resistant bacteria from field hospitals

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 11, 2007

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The outbreak of Acinetobacter baumannii-calcoaceticus complex among injured soldiers in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 probably came from field hospitals, rather than the battlefield, according to a study in the June 15 Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Researchers with the U.S. Army and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assessed possible colonization of the skin of patients as well as the soil and overall environment of military health care facilities.

The bacteria was detected in only one out of 160 patients screened and one out of the 49 soil samples. All treatment areas of the field hospitals where testing was carried out turned out to be positive, and these bugs were less susceptible to possible treatment regimens than those found elsewhere.

The authors urge improvements in infection control throughout the military medical system.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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