UNMC Researchers Note Growth Of Bacteria From Iraq

UNMC Researchers Note Growth Of Bacteria From Iraq

OMAHA, Neb. — A dangerous bacteria is finding its way to U.S. hospitals, and researchers said the super bug is connected to men and women who are back from serving in Iraq.

Experts said acinetobacter baumannii is not a significant problem yet, but two University of Nebraska Medical Center researchers are leading the charge to find a way to treat it. Dr. Paul Dunman and his team are conducting research on the bacteria.

“What’s particularly problematic, and why it’s becoming in the public eye more and more, is that strains of AB have developed resistance to all currently available antibiotics,” Dunman said.

Acinetobacter baumannii typically doesn’t affect a healthy individual, but is often lethal in individuals with a compromised immune system.

Full Story Here:
UNMC Researchers Note Growth Of Bacteria From Iraq

Many of you know that my daughter Lisa has been in ICU for almost a month now. She has been suffering from some kind of *Super Bug* and we had no real idea as to what it was or what to call it. She doesn’t have H1N1 but for lack of a viable name, the doctors were calling it *The Flu*.

Now we know what it is that nearly killed my daughter. It’s called acinetobacter baumannii, or AB for short. Some refer to it as Iraq Bacteria or Iraqibacter.

My daughter hasn’t been to Iraq. She hasn’t, as far as we know, been in contact with anyone that has recently returned from Iraq. Therein lies one of the problems.

She was pregnant and got very ill, and was admitted to the hospital in the small town where she lives. They had to take her baby 11 weeks early, but he is doing great, growing like a weed and doing a lot of really cool newborn stuff.

His Mom, my daughter, was thought to be suffering a type of flu by the local doctors, but right after the baby was born, my daughter took a serious turn for the worse and was admitted to ICU. So, as she was being treated in the local small town hospital, she was getting worse by the hour. Nothing they did was working, it had NO effect at all. She was flown via medical helicopter to a major medical center and she has been in their ICU for about 2 weeks now.

They seem to think that she may have been exposed while in the other hospital, and due to her weakened condition, pregnant, flu and the like, that may be why, and how she became infected with AB.

Dr. Peter Iwen oversees the lab results at UNMC and is helping Dunman with his research. He has been looking for acinetobacter baumannii in lab results from the Med Center for the past 18 months. Iwen said he has 24 patients in his database that are infected with the organism and many of them are elderly.

“We have seen patients infected with it. We’ve also seen people who are colonized who don’t have an infection, but it’s found in one of their body sites, for instance, as a potential source of infection if they were to become compromised,” Iwen said.

Iwen said that AB is in most U.S. hospitals and can colonize on any surface. It is spread when a healthy individual touches that surface then contaminates another.

And after hearing the details from folks in south Louisiana, where my daughter is, I did a Google and this story is what I found. It more than explained the questions I was asking. But, I was told that rumor has it, Center for Disease Control is trying their best to keep a lid on this thing. Fear of the panic it may incur if folks think there is an untreatable *Super Bug* out there.

I don’t know if there IS a cure for this AB per se, but I know this, my daughter IS getting better, much better, and the doctors are still pumping her full of antibiotics. The word is, 10 days to 2 weeks more in the ICU, and then moved to a room to finish recovery.

We have been blessed. My daughter is alive, she is a fighter, a strong fighter. She will make it through this if anyone can. The baby wasn’t affected in ANY way, that is what’s tending to make the doctors believe that she was exposed to AB when she was having her C-Section to deliver the baby. That’s the speculation at least.

Until now, I had never heard of AB, acinetobacter baumannii, Iraq Bacteria, whatever name they give this monster. I want as many people as possible to KNOW about it. People have a right to know. I am not trying to cause a panic, but until you read this, had you ever heard of this Iraq Bacteria, acinetobacter baumannii??

I know it was news to me. And the very thought that the CDC wants to keep a lid on this simply fries me to a crisp.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to UNMC Researchers Note Growth Of Bacteria From Iraq

  1. Patrick Sperry says:

    Without any doubt this is the best news I’ve had since you told me that your grandson was doing great. God bless your daughter, and I pray for a rapid and full recovery.

    As for the CDC, and government in general holding back with information? That has long been proved to be a baseless, and harmful fear.

  2. TexasFred says:


    Like the government has been forthcoming on Gulf War illness?? Telling our troops it’s all in their heads??

    Like the old “Agent Orange isn’t doing this” baseless?? I am not real clear on just what it is you’re saying here…

  3. rwehousewife says:

    Fred, that is great news about your daughter! I can’t even imagine all the things going through your head right now. First of all, thank God they have a name for her illness and are having some success in treating it. And thank God that little boy was spared from it. What a wonderful blessing for you and your family.

    On the other hand, the CDC’s refusal to publicly acknowledge this thing. It boggles the mind. (Really, nothing should boggle our minds any more, should it?) Growing up, we had so much faith in our scientists and researchers. We beat polio, tuberculosis, and so many others. Now it seems like we are being assaulted constantly by new bugs. Tuberculosis is back. All kinds of old-timey diseases are threatening again. And then there’s the weird exotic bugs like this one. Things we had never heard of before. What’s going on?

    Prayers sent up for your daughter’s full recovery. May she be blessed with good health to enjoy every minute with that little sweetheart!

  4. James Shott says:

    Any info on how they deal with it in Iraq or neighboring countries, where it came from?

  5. rwehousewife says:

    Then again, I guess I grew up with rose colored glasses…

  6. TexasFred says:

    Sorry James, what you see here is all I have for now…

    I have just begun to do my research into it, but it appears it came from Iraq. Some sort of bacteria supported in their soil according to the article from UNMC..

  7. Katie says:

    I’m glad to hear that your daughter is recovering and that precious grandson of yours is getting stronger each day (want to see some pics).

    The news of this “Super Bug” should be given at the very least to health care professionals. That way they can implement the proper protocols to prevent infections. If they had done this with your daughter, she would have been fine.

  8. Kate says:

    Nobody and nothing better mess with the Texas Fred clan! :) You know I’m praying daily for a full, and speedy, recovery!

    This kind of news seriously disturbs me. Why is it that anyone connected with the government believes we are incapable of rational thought? This is information that should have been shared with ALL hospitals, at the very least.

    I’m a little confused however. I did read the entire column, and other than the first paragraph, it gave no indication on how it’s connected with Iraq. Did I miss something?

  9. TexasFred says:

    Kate, It was there once.. Once was enough…

  10. Silver Fox says:

    So glad to hear the outlook for your daughter is positive. I will keep her in my prayers. It makes me mad also that government officials in the CDC often don’t level with the American people—but thats to be expected as they all feel smarter and wiser than us and consequently know whats best for us. Points out the need to defeat Obamacare!

  11. ChicagoRay says:

    Best of luck as always my friend and thank goodness she’s recovered…

    My mother, as you know, passed in Nov 2007, and she went to the hospital for liver and kidney issues then ultimately dies not from that crap but from this damn superduty hospital virus they supposedly couldn’t do shit about… Godspeed Fred, to you and yours :)

  12. Vigilante says:

    Glad to hear both of them are doing good Fred. Just a thought on the “super bug”……… could it have been in saddam’s germ warfare arsenal? Just a thought, and for heavens sake this rotten administration would’nt admit that maybe Bush WAS right on part of the WMD picture. They would rather remain silent and people die than admit he was right. JMO

  13. TexasFred says:

    Vigilante, according to the article, this has been a known factor for nearly 100 years, I’d say that pretty much rules Saddam and his WMDs out, if the info in the story is correct…

  14. TexasFred says:

    Links to any info I can find will be posted here…

    US soldiers in Iraq fighting drug-resistant bacteria after injuries

    The Iraq Infection - Forbes.com

    Acinetobacter Baumannii in Iraq

    Genome Sequence Shows What Makes Bacteria Dangerous For Troops In Iraq

    Yale Daily News - Profs study deadly germ seen in Iraq

    A. baumannii, thought to reside in soil and water, can, if left untreated, cause pneumonia, meningitis, respiratory infections, sepsis and urinary tract infections. Upon infection, the organism has a casualty rate of 75 percent.

  15. TexasFred says:

    Now it has a face, and a name… A KNOWN NAME… Spread the word folks… This thing is a KILLER and so very few even know about it…

    I am finding older info, the latest being 2008, some a long ways back, but so far, nothing NEW in the last year…

    They KNOW it’s there, they KNOW it’s a KILLER, so, why does the public know little, or nothing about it?

  16. HoosierArmyMom says:

    First, I am grateful God has been with Lisa and the baby and the prognosis for mother and baby is good now. I will keep her and your family in my prayers TF.

    Second, I’ll do some checking here with my friends in the medical profession and see if I can help you find more on this. I will link to your post later this evening as a way to help inform people about the dangers of this killer bug. Knowledge is power when fighting these things. It is shameful the CDC is keeping this from the public. One thing people can do, is to postpone non-critical surgeries until more is known about this bug. I am disgusted with the government and the CDC on this issue.

  17. minuteman26 says:

    Fred - Glad your daughter is recovering. Sounds like this bacteria could be more of a problem than the swine flu. The CDC had better get on it.

  18. TexasFred says:

    MM26, read the full article, read the links I have posted here in comments, CDC IS on it, keeping a LID on it…

    This is some BAD stuff, and they want YOU and ME kept in the dark, they can just write it off to some kind of influenza, and we ALL know, people DIE from the flu…

    Well, this isn’t the flu, it’s a lot more, and keeping a lid on it is NOT how you deal with it…

    For God’s sake, READ THE LINKS

  19. TexasFred says:

    And this is from 2 days ago…

    Bacterial casualties: U.S. soldiers in Iraq continue to battle drug-resistant bacteria: Scientific American Blog

    While AB isn’t mentioned specifically, bacterial infections are covered quite well..

  20. Minute Man says:


    The CDC hasn’t really kept a lid on this bacterium. If you do a search on CDC.gov you can find hundreds of articles about this bacterium. It seems to be a problematic opportunistic infection, but not widely reported because it is not a pandemic or even an epidemic. It is however endemic in some communities and hospitals, but it is not a public health crisis such as seasonal flu or the Novel H1N1.

    Also, here is a link to the cdc’s own info page about Acinetobacter spp. in hospitals, but not the strain found in Iraq.

    Overview of Drug-resistant Acinetobacter Infections in Healthcare Settings

    Hope this helps, and i hope your daughter makes a full recovery.

    Also: rwehousewife:

    We did beat polio in this country, but it is still endemic in some areas of Africa and India. TB was beaten but the bacteria has evolved resistance to many drugs and now poses a problem in the community, especially those with impaired immune systems. New bugs keep popping up because of society’s overuse of antibiotics, allowing more resistance to come about. Drug resistant bacteria isn’t a new phenomena. By 1947 there was already penicillin resistant bacteria.

  21. TexasFred says:

    Minute Man, until NOW, have you ever heard of it? I didn’t mean to imply that they were ignoring it, but the *keeping a lid on it* was a quote from a medical professional that will have to remain anonymous at this time…

    All I know is what I have been told and what I have read and until last night, I had never heard a word about AB…

    And I am seriously of the belief that H1N1 is a *manufactured* health crisis…

  22. TexasFred says:

    I have to admit, there ARE a lot of hits on the CDC site, Search Results: acinetobacter baumannii

    Now I wonder why the statement was made saying they were “keeping a lid on it”?

    And no matter the case, until now, I never heard of it, and I do a lot of research on Gulf War illness, or, I have in the past, and somehow, this one never came up…

  23. Minute Man says:

    The problem is that the general public has no real need to be concerned with this bug. When people get ill or immunocompromised, and they go to the hospital, that is the time that the infectious disease specialists should be concerned about AB; its not a public health crisis, which is why it has not been reported. It reminds me of Leishmaniasis, which is a parasite endemic to afghanistan. When soldiers came back from afghanistan they had these lesions that people could not figure out. It turns out it was Leishmaniasis, a dangerous parasite. However, since it was not a public health emergency it is not widely reported.

    Leishmaniasis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    H1N1 is not a manufactured crisis-in LA alone, 8 people have died, several of them perviously healthy young girls. The novel H1N1 has the potential to come back harder than before and will most likely affect the young who have not been previously exposed (older members of society have some antibodies to this virus). Luckily the vaccine should be distributing soon. The biggest fear is that the 1918 pandemic was preceded by a weaker flu, much like the H1N1 we are seeing now.

  24. Minute Man says:


    You might want to check out pubmed at PubMed Home. If you havn’t been using it for reading about Gulf War syndrome you should use it. Any research done with government grants is placed on pubmed. If you live near a university they should be able to provide you with most of the articles. It’s an extremely powerful tool.

  25. TexasFred says:

    On H1N1 we’ll have to agree to disagree I suppose, but the other sources are VERY valuable and I seriously appreciate them…

    The RAW links were throwing your comments into SPAM, I released them and formatted to hot links as they need to be, no content was changed…

  26. Bluebonnet Sue says:

    I guess this means anyone who is supposed to have elective surgery should give it a lot of thought before going through it if being in a hospital is part of it. Eh? Seems like it used to be that it was “only” staph that we had to be concerned about.

  27. Bluebonnet Sue says:

    Ooops. I was too quick with the trigger finger… I meant to tell you Fred that I am so glad your grandson is doing well and that your daughter is getting better. May it continue to be so….

  28. Bloviating Zeppelin says:

    My former girlfriend’s brother died at the young age of 49 after flying on a commercial liner from back east, about 8 years ago. He first acquired flu-like symptoms and then it ranged through his body. None of the doctors could diagnose his condition. He ended up dying of heart failure. This “unknown” bug attacked his lungs and major organs and, within ONE week, he was dead.

    There is MUCH we don’t know about our surrounding world and, conversely, there is much that the medical community would rather us NOT know lest, as you write, there be a greater spread of panic.


  29. hardheadedtexan says:

    Fred I am so glad to hear that your daughter and grandbaby are doing well. I know you are ready for your daughter to get out of the hospital. I’ll keep praying for your family.
    This sounds like some pretty serious crap.
    I hate to always bitch about the Middle East but those countries are NASTY. Even remembering the smells makes me want to Clorox my house.
    I’m glad you posted this, my whole family is military and I will pass it along to them. My brother is in the Air Force and just got back from Iraq. His kids are very young, this kinda crap ticks me off. I’ve never heard of it.

  30. GM Roper says:

    As always Fred, prayers for your daughters continuing recovery so that she returns to the family fold.

    And you stay healthy too so you can enjoy your grandchild for many, many years to come.

  31. Patrick Sperry says:


    Like the government has been forthcoming on Gulf War illness?? Telling our troops it’s all in their heads??

    Like the old “Agent Orange isn’t doing this” baseless?? I am not real clear on just what it is you’re saying here…”

    No Brother,as in we the people cannot handle the truth, in anything of importance, ever! Please don’t forget about agent Blue while we are at it…

    I’m researching this, and I told you in IM; it appears to be an opportunistic disease process. So, if you are generally in good health, your immune system will in all probability fight it off. If however, you have some sort of serious problem that is already stressing your immune system? Say, influenza, hepatitis, or HIV? You could very well be in for a premature dirt bath.

    This news about your daughter is great. I will still however, pray for her every day.

  32. TopGun says:


    First, Congrats on the new grandbaby, and secondly, I’m sorry to read your daughter has gone through so much with this bug you are informing us about. I pray she continues to have a full recovery.

    Take care, Grampa. ;-)

  33. Longstreet says:

    It is great news that your daughter is recovering, Fred.

    I’ve been suspecting some sort of bug from the Middle East. We have something making the rounds out here on the Southeast coast, too. My wife has had it and now I have it. My immune system is shot due to a regimen of steroids I have to take every day. If it is available. I’ll get it!

    We will continue to pray for your daughter!



Comments are closed.