Molecular Detection of OXA-type Carbapenemases among Acinetobacter baumannii Isolated from Burn Patients and Hospital Environments

Fatemeh Bakhshi1, Farzaneh Firoozeh1, 2, *
, Farzad Badmasti3, #
, Masoud Dadashi1, Mohammad Zibaei2, 4, Azad Khaledi5, 6
1 Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran
2 Evidence- Based Phytotherapy and Complementary Medicine Research Center, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran
3 Department of Bacteriology, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran
4 Department of Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran
5 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran
6 Infectious Diseases Research Center, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran

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Creative Commons License
© 2022 Bakhshi et al.

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 correspondence to this author at the Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, 3149779453 IR. Iran; Tel/Fax: +98 26 32563329; Email:



Acinetobacter baumannii is known as one of the major causes of nosocomial infections, especially in intensive care units and burn patients. The emergence of antimicrobial resistance in burn wound bacterial pathogens is a severe health crisis. Detection of carbapenem resistance and genetic elements in A. baumannii associated with burn patients and hospital environments play a key role in the control and alerting in clinical settings.


In this study, the prevalence of OXA-type carbapenemases was investigated in A. baumannii strains isolated from burn patients and from a hospital environment in Tehran, 2021.


A total of 85 non-duplicate A. baumannii isolates (53 from various surfaces of the hospital environment and 32 from burn patients) were recovered in the Burns Hospital in Tehran. The A. baumannii isolates were screened for antibiotic susceptibility and the presence of the most common OXA-type carbapenemase genes.


A. baumannii was isolated from 38.5% of hospital patient burn wounds and 22.1% of surfaces, including burn units (15.6%) and intensive care units (52.4%). Antibiotic susceptibility results showed that (100%) of burn patient isolates were resistant to imipenem, while (100%) of ICU isolates and (96.8%) of burn isolates were resistant to imipenem. All clinical isolates were identified as MDR and XDR, whereas all (100%) and 98.1% of environmental isolates were identified as MDR and XDR, respectively. All studied A. baumannii isolates carried blaOXA-51-like gene. Moreover, 50 (94.3%) and 49 (92.5%) of environmental isolates, 32 (100%) and 30 (93.7%) of burn patient isolate harbored blaOXA-23-like and blaOXA-24/40–like genes, respectively. None of the isolates carried the blaOXA-58 or blaOXA-143 genes and all isolates had at least 2 OXA-type carbapenemase genes.


Our results suggest that surfaces in the hospital environment, particularly in ICUs, are contaminated with MDR or XDR A. baumannii strains. They may be considered a potential reservoir for the colonization of hospital patients. In addition, OXA-type carbapenemases, including OXA-23-like and OXA-24/40-like, appear to be one of the major mechanisms of carbapenem resistance in the clinical and environmental A. baumannii strains.

Keywords: Acinetobacter baumannii, Hospital environment, OXA-type carbapenemases, Burns centers, Molecular detection, Burn units.