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Different definitions of the terms multidrug-resistant (MDR) and pandrug-resistant (PDR) Acinetobacter baumannii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa have been used in the biomedical literature. The authors searched for relevant studies indexed in the PubMed database (01/2000-09/2005) to systematically examine the various definitions of MDR and PDR for these bacteria. Initially 107 retrieved relevant studies were reviewed. Ninety-two studies were further analysed, 50 of which focused on A. baumannii and 42 on P. aeruginosa. A considerable diversity of definitions of the terms MDR and PDR A. baumannii and P. aeruginosa was found. Of note, the term PDR was inappropriately used in all five studies that used it. The review reveals that various definitions have been used for the terms MDR and PDR A. baumannii and P. aeruginosa, a fact that causes confusion to researchers and clinicians. The authors believe that at least a widely accepted definition for PDR A. baumannii and P. aeruginosa should be uniformly used worldwide.

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