To assess the incidence and the impact of carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) intestinal carriage on subsequent CRAB infection and to study risk factors of acquiring CRAB intestinal carriage among patients in intensive care unit (ICU).
From May 2017 to April 2018, an observational study was conducted in a 50-bed general ICU of a university hospital in China. Rectal swabs were collected from ICU patients on admission and thereafter weekly. A case–control study was performed to analyse risk factors of the acquisition of CRAB intestinal carriage in ICU using multiple logistic regression. A retrospective cohort study was performed to address whether intestinal CRAB carriage could lead to an increased likelihood of subsequent CRAB infection using subdistribution hazard model regarding death in the ICU as a competing risk event.
CRAB intestinal carriage was detected in 6.87% (66/961; 95% CI 5.27% to 8.47%) of patients on ICU admission, whereas 11.97% (115/961; 95% CI 9.91% to 14.02%) of patients acquired CRAB intestinal carriage during the ICU stay. Pancreatitis (OR 2.16, 95% CI 1.28 to 3.67), haematological disease (OR 2.26, 95% CI 1.42 to 3.58), gastric tube feeding (OR 3.35, 95% CI 2.03 to 5.51) and use of carbapenems (OR 1.84, 95% CI 1.11 to 3.07) were independent risk factors for acquiring CRAB intestinal carriage. The incidence of subsequent CRAB infection was 2.24-fold in patients with CRAB intestinal carriage compared with that in patients without (95% CI 1.48 to 3.39, p<0.001).
More patients acquired CRAB intestinal carriage during their ICU stay than had on admission. Severity of illness, acute pancreatitis, tube feeding and use of carbapenems were independent risk factors of acquisition of CRAB intestinal carriage. Patients with CRAB intestinal carriage are more likely to develop CRAB infection.