Prevalence of High-Risk Antibiotic Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii in the Holy Cities of Makkah and Al-Madinah

Abdulrahman A. Al-Sultan1, *
1 Department of Biomedical Science, Microbiology Division, College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Al-Hasa, Saudi Arabia

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© 2021 Abdulrahman A. Al-Sultan

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address corresponding to this author at Department of Biomedical Science, Microbiology Division, College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Al-Hasa, Saudi Arabia; E-mail:



Acinetobacter baumannii strains resistant to carbapenems are a global public health problem.


The aim of the present study is to evaluate the prevalence of genetic fingerprints associated with Metallo β-lactamases in A. baumannii in addition to the clonal diversity of A. baumannii in Makkah and Al-Madinah regions of Saudi Arabia, which receive a high number of international visitors.


Multi-antibiotic resistant A. baumannii isolates were investigated. Bacterial isolation was conducted employing a basic bacteriological technique after confirming the ID of isolates. The antimicrobial susceptibility test was carried out using the Vitek 2 compact system. The molecular clonal diversity of the isolates was determined by Pulse Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE). Clusters were analyzed with BioNumerics software version 6.5. Dice coefficient was used for calculating the similarities.


The results indicated resistance in 82.5% of A. baumannii isolates against the carbapenems. All the isolates were found to be sensitive to colistin, while 5% of isolates were resistant to tigecycline. The screening of carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii isolates showed that the dissemination of imipenem and meropenem resistance was 81 and 84%, respectively, while the majority of the strains were susceptible to tigecycline and colistin. The blaOXA and blaVIM were the most encountered genes in A. baumannii isolates, while ISAba1 was the prominent insertion sequence. The genetic fingerprinting results (PFGE) revealed two types of epidemic clones: monoclonal and polyclonal models of 17 clusters.


The current investigation indicates the diversity in genetic fingerprints of carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii in Makkah and Al-Madinah region of Saudi Arabia, and that two types of epidemic clones are present. It has also been demonstrated that such clones create serious infection dissemination to other parts of the world as heavy pilgrimage traffic is received throughout the year in Makkah and Al-Madinah, especially in the Haj season.

Keywords: Acinetobacter baumannii, PFGE, Antibiotic resistance, Mettalo β-lactamase, Carbapenems, ISAba.