Molecular analysis of the prevalence of Acinetobacter baumannii in hospitals and the surrounding environments: a cross-sectional study


  • Kerollyn Fernandes Bernardes Silva Universidade Federal do Triângulo Mineiro
  • Camila Botelho Miguel Centro Universitário de Mineiros
  • Rony Rocha de Oliveira Júnior Centro Universitário Atenas
  • Marcelo Costa Araujo Universidade Federal do Triângulo Mineiro
  • Ferdinando Agostinho Universidade Federal do Triângulo Mineiro
  • Carlos Ueira-Vieira Universidade Federal de Uberlândia
  • Javier Emilio Lazo-Chica Universidade Federal do Triângulo Mineiro
  • Wellington Rodrigues Universidade Federal do Triângulo Mineiro



Acinetobacter baumannii, Environment, Hospital Infection, Polymerase Chain Reaction.


Acinetobacter baumannii is widely recognized in clinical environments due to its infectious capacity, antimicrobial adaptability, and lethality. Analyzing the prevalence of this agent in intra- and extra-hospital environments may reveal target indicators for appropriate management interventions. In this observational cross-sectional study, we evaluated the prevalence of A. baumannii within hospitals with intensive care units and in their external surroundings in a macro-health region of Brazil. Samples of Columba livia (pigeon) droppings from the external environment of four hospitals (n = 40), from floor surfaces (n = 20), and door handles (n = 20) of different hospital wards were collected based on random sampling, all of which were evaluated for the presence of A. baumannii using polymerase chain reactions (PCR). The sensitivity and specificity of the technique was verified after the collected samples were contaminated with clinical samples positive for A. baumannii. We detected a significantly higher A. baumannii prevalence (87.50%, CI = 71.29–100.00) in samples collected within the hospital environment compared with those obtained from the external environment (12.50%, CI = 0.00–28. 71) (p = 0.003). In addition, samples collected from floor surfaces contained bacterial densities (181.3 ± 11.58) that exceeded those in environmental (93.32 ± 1.56) and door handle (142.70 ± 17.14) samples by 94% and 78.71%, respectively. The findings of this study will enhance our understanding of the spatial distribution of A. baumannii and additionally, validate the efficiency of PCR for diagnosis of this infectious agent.


Download data is not yet available.


AFUNWA, R., et al. Multiple antibiotic resistant index of Gram-Negative bacteria from bird droppings in two commercial poultries in Enugu, Nigeria. Open Journal of Medical Microbiology. 2020, 10(4), 171–181.

ANANE, A.Y., et al. Prevalence and molecular analysis of multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii in the extra-hospital environment in Mthatha, South Africa. Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2020, 23(6), 371–380.

ANDINI, N., et al. "Culture" shift: broad bacterial detection, identification, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing directly from whole blood. Clinical Chemistry. 2018, 64 (10), 1453–1462.

ARANGO, H.G., 2001. Bioestatística teórica e computacional. In: Bioestatística teórica e computacional. pp. 235–235.

ARGUDÍN, M.A., et al. Bacteria from Animals as a Pool of Antimicrobial Resistance Genes. Antibiotics. 2017, 6(2), 10.3390/antibiotics6020012

BONNIN, R.A., et al. Phenotypic, biochemical, and molecular techniques for detection of metallo-β-lactamase NDM in Acinetobacter baumannii. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 2012, 50(4), 1419–1421.

CHIDAMBA, L. and KORSTEN, L. Antibiotic resistance in Escherichia coli isolates from roof-harvested rainwater tanks and urban pigeon faeces as the likely source of contamination. Environmental Monitoring Assessment. 2015, 187(7), 405.

CHIN, C.Y., et al. A high-frequency phenotypic switch links bacterial virulence and environmental survival in Acinetobacter baumannii. Nature Microbiology. 2018, 3(5), 563–569.

DADGOSTAR, P. Antimicrobial Resistance: Implications and Costs. Infection and Drug Resistance. 2019, 12, 3903–3910.

DE OLIVEIRA XAVIER, A.R.E., et al. Detection and identification of medically important microorganisms isolated from pigeon excreta collected in a university in a newly industrialized country. Biotemas. 2019, 32(1), 11–20.

DONSKEY, C.J. Beyond high-touch surfaces: Portable equipment and floors as potential sources of transmission of health care-associated pathogens. American Journal of Infection Control. 2019, 47S, A90–A95.

ESPINAL, P. et al. Dissemination of an NDM-2-producing Acinetobacter baumannii clone in an Israeli rehabilitation center. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 2011, 55(11), 5396–5398.

GHADERI, Z., EIDI, S. and RAZMYAR, J. High Prevalence of Cryptococcus neoformans and isolation of other opportunistic fungi from pigeon (Columba livia) droppings in Northeast Iran. Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery. 2019, 33(4), 335–339.

GUIMARÃES, M. and CAROLINA, S. Laboratory tests: sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value. Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical. 1985, 18(2), 117–120.

HOU, C. and YANG, F. Drug-resistant gene of blaOXA-23, blaOXA-24, blaOXA-51 and blaOXA-58 in Acinetobacter baumannii. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. 2015, 8(8), 13859.

LEUNG, L.M., et al. A prospective study of Acinetobacter baumannii complex isolates and colistin susceptibility monitoring by mass spectrometry of microbial membrane glycolipids. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 2019, 57(3), e01100–18.

LIU, S., et al. Rapid and accurate detection of carbapenem-resistance gene by isothermal amplification in Acinetobacter baumannii. Burns & Trauma. 2020, 8, tkaa026.

ŁOPIŃSKA, A., et al. Occurrence of Acinetobacter baumannii in Gulls and Songbirds. Polish Journal of Microbiology. 2020, 69(1), 1–6.

MORAKCHI, H., et al. Molecular characterisation of carbapenemases in urban pigeon droppings in France and Algeria. Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance. 2017, 9, 103–110.

MOREIRA, D.D., et al. Ants as carriers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in hospitals. Neotropical Entomology. 2005, 34, 999–1006, 2005.

PELEG, A.Y., SEIFERT, H. and PATERSON, D.L. Acinetobacter baumannii: emergence of a successful pathogen. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 2008, 21(3), 538–582.

RASHID, T., et al. Mechanisms for floor surfaces or environmental ground contamination to cause human infection: a systematic review. Epidemiology & Infection. 2017, 145(2), 347–357.

RIBEIRO, E.A., et al. Molecular epidemiology and drug resistance of Acinetobacter baumannii isolated from a regional hospital in the Brazilian Amazon region. Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical. 2020, 54, e20200087.

RODRIGUES, W.F., et al. Low dose of propranolol down-modulates bone resorption by inhibiting inflammation and osteoclast differentiation. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2012, 165(7), 2140–2151.

RODRIGUES, W.F., et al. Establishing standards for studying renal function in mice through measurements of body size-adjusted creatinine and urea levels. BioMed Research International. 2014, 872827.

SRIVASTAVA, J., et al. Understanding the development of environmental resistance among microbes: a review. CLEAN–Soil, Air, Water. 2016, 44(7), 901–908.

TADA, T., et al. Molecular epidemiology of multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii isolates from hospitals in Myanmar. Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance. 2020, 22, 122–125.

VIJAYAKUMAR, S., BISWAS, I. and VEERARAGHAVAN, B. Accurate identification of clinically important Acinetobacter spp.: an update. Future Science OA. 2019, 5(6), FSO395.

WANG, Y., et al. Integration of multiplex PCR and CRISPR-Cas allows highly specific detection of multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter Baumannii. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical. 2021, 334, 129600.




How to Cite

SILVA, K..F.B., MIGUEL, C.B., OLIVEIRA JÚNIOR, R.R. de, ARAUJO, M.C., AGOSTINHO, F., UEIRA-VIEIRA, C., LAZO-CHICA, J.E. and RODRIGUES, W., 2023. Molecular analysis of the prevalence of Acinetobacter baumannii in hospitals and the surrounding environments: a cross-sectional study. Bioscience Journal [online], vol. 39, pp. e39019. [Accessed23 June 2024]. DOI 10.14393/BJ-v39n0a2023-63071. Available from:



Biological Sciences