Some hospitalized patients’ infections may develop from their own bacteria

The opportunistic bacterium Acinetobacter baumannii rarely sickens healthy people but causes serious infections in hospitalized patients. A study in mice suggests that Acinetobacter can hide undetected in bladder cells and then reactivate when stimulated by medical intervention. The findings suggest that patients may bring Acinetobacter into hospitals and that screening patients could supplement current infection-control efforts.

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