Acinetobacter spp

From Dog
A. baumannii grown on oxoid agar[1]

Acinetobacter spp are a Gram negative zoonotic proteobacteria normally present in the fecal biotome of dogs[2].

Growing numbers of multi-drug resistant Acinetobacter spp have been reported in the veterinary literature and this group of bacteria should be of concern as a nosocomial infection, particularly during operative procedures. Bacteria are often found on surfaces in intensive care units of veterinary hospitals[3].

Acinetobacter are unique in having the ability to integrate foreign DNA. They are also a cause of bacteremic cellulitis in humans[4].

Species which are pathogenic to dogs include:

  • Acinetobacter baumannii[5]
  • Acinetobacter parvus
  • Acinetobacter ursingii
  • Acinetobacter schindleri

This group of bacteria have been associated with systemic disease such as endocarditis[6] and are also part of the bacterial dysbiosis associated with idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease[7].

Treatment is usually effective with ampicillin, enrofloxacin and amikacin[8].


  2. Francey T et al (2000) The role of Acinetobacter baumannii as a nosocomial pathogen for dogs and cats in an intensive care unit. J Vet Intern Med 14(2):177-183
  3. Boerlin P et al (2001) Transmission of opportunistic pathogens in a veterinary teaching hospital. Vet Microbiol 82(4):347-359
  4. Dijkshoorn L et al (2007) An increasing threat in hospitals: multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii. Nat Rev Microbiol 5:939–951
  5. Zordan S et al (2011) Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii in veterinary clinics, Germany. Emerg Infect Dis 17(9):1751-1754
  6. Mohri T et al(2009) Purulent pericarditis in a dog administered immune-suppressing drugs. J Vet Med Sci 71(5):669-672
  7. Suchodolski JS et al (2012) 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing reveals bacterial dysbiosis in the duodenum of dogs with idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease. PLoS One 7(6):e39333
  8. Black DM et al (2009) Antimicrobial therapy and aerobic bacteriologic culture patterns in canine intensive care unit patients: 74 dogs (January-June 2006). J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio) 19(5):489-495