Acinetobacter is a group of bacteria generally considered nonpathogenic to healthy individuals. However, at least 23 species have been associated with human disease. Acinetobacter infections have increased and gained attention because of the organism’s prolonged environmental survival and propensity to develop antimicrobial drug resistance. The settings for infection are usually medical or surgical intensive care units involving patients with preexisting conditions. Common routes of bacterial transmission include contaminated medical devices such as respirators, intubations and ventilation devices.

Test Method

Filter concentration method using MacConkey agar, incubation 36.5ºC + 0.5ºC for 48–72 h.  Direct plating is also included in the event of high concentrations of the organism.  Modification of the ASTM International Standard Test Method for the Isolation and Enumeration of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from water [D 5246-92 (Reapproved 2004)]

Turn Around Time

 2–7 days

Test Code:



The sample volume is ≥120 ml and should be collected as follows:

  1. Complete the Chain of Custody Test Request form.
  2. Use waterproof pen to label bottle with sample location, description, and date.
  3. Turn on hot water and immediately fill the bottle. Close bottle and invert to mix neutralizer.

Sample Transport

  1. Ship the same day samples are collected for receipt in laboratory. The time from sample collection to analysis should not exceed 30 hours.
  2. Place bottles in box with insulated liner.
  3. Place completed Chain of Custody Test Request form in plastic document holder and pack in box.
  4. Ship overnight Monday–Thursday only to: Special Pathogens Laboratory, 1401 Forbes Avenue, Suite 401, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Samples received on Saturday will not be processed.

Questions? Call 412-281-5335.