The Environmental Acinetobacter baumannii Isolate DSM30011 Reveals Clues into the Preantibiotic Era Genome Diversity, Virulence Potential, and Niche Range of a Predominant Nosocomial Pathogen.
ABSTRACT: Acinetobacter baumannii represents nowadays an important nosocomial opportunistic pathogen whose reservoirs outside the clinical setting are obscure. Here, we traced the origins of the collection strain A. baumannii DSM30011 to an isolate first reported in 1944, obtained from the enriched microbiota responsible of the aerobic decomposition of the resinous desert shrub guayule. Whole-genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis based on core genes confirmed DSM30011 affiliation to A. baumannii. Comparative studies with 32 complete A. baumannii genomes revealed the presence of 12 unique accessory chromosomal regions in DSM30011 including five encompassing phage-related genes, five containing toxin genes of the type-6 secretion system, and one with an atypical CRISPRs/cas cluster. No antimicrobial resistance islands were identified in DSM30011 agreeing with a general antimicrobial susceptibility phenotype including folate synthesis inhibitors. The marginal ampicillin resistance of DSM30011 most likely derived from chromosomal ADC-type ampC and blaOXA-51-type genes. Searching for catabolic pathways genes revealed several clusters involved in the degradation of plant defenses including woody tissues and a previously unreported atu locus responsible of aliphatic terpenes degradation, thus suggesting that resinous plants may provide an effective niche for this organism. DSM30011 also harbored most genes and regulatory mechanisms linked to persistence and virulence in pathogenic Acinetobacter species. This strain thus revealed important clues into the genomic diversity, virulence potential, and niche ranges of the preantibiotic era A. baumannii population, and may provide an useful tool for our understanding of the processes that led to the recent evolution of this species toward an opportunistic pathogen of humans.
Project description:Acinetobacter baumannii represents nowadays an important nosocomial pathogen of poorly defined reservoirs outside the clinical setting. Here, we conducted whole-genome sequencing analysis of the Acinetobacter sp. NCIMB8209 collection strain, isolated in 1943 from the aerobic degradation (retting) of desert guayule shrubs. Strain NCIMB8209 contained a 3.75-Mb chromosome and a plasmid of 134?kb. Phylogenetic analysis based on core genes indicated NCIMB8209 affiliation to A. baumannii, a result supported by the identification of a chromosomal bla OXA-51-like gene. Seven genomic islands lacking antimicrobial resistance determinants, 5 regions encompassing phage-related genes, and notably, 93 insertion sequences (IS) were found in this genome. NCIMB8209 harbors most genes linked to persistence and virulence described in contemporary A. baumannii clinical strains, but many of the genes encoding components of surface structures are interrupted by IS. Moreover, defense genetic islands against biological aggressors such as type 6 secretion systems or CRISPR-cas are absent from this genome. These findings correlate with a low capacity of NCIMB8209 to form biofilm and pellicle, low motility on semisolid medium, and low virulence toward Galleria mellonella and Caenorhabditis elegans Searching for catabolic genes and concomitant metabolic assays revealed the ability of NCIMB8209 to grow on a wide range of substances produced by plants, including aromatic acids and defense compounds against external aggressors. All the above features strongly suggest that NCIMB8209 has evolved specific adaptive features to a particular environmental niche. Moreover, they also revealed that the remarkable genetic plasticity identified in contemporary A. baumannii clinical strains represents an intrinsic characteristic of the species.IMPORTANCE Acinetobacter baumannii is an ESKAPE (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species) opportunistic pathogen, with poorly defined natural habitats/reservoirs outside the clinical setting. A. baumannii arose from the Acinetobacter calcoaceticus-A. baumannii complex as the result of a population bottleneck, followed by a recent population expansion from a few clinically relevant clones endowed with an arsenal of resistance and virulence genes. Still, the identification of virulence traits and the evolutionary paths leading to a pathogenic lifestyle has remained elusive, and thus, the study of nonclinical ("environmental") A. baumannii isolates is necessary. We conducted here comparative genomic and virulence studies on A. baumannii NCMBI8209 isolated in 1943 from the microbiota responsible for the decomposition of guayule, and therefore well differentiated both temporally and epidemiologically from the multidrug-resistant strains that are predominant nowadays. Our work provides insights on the adaptive strategies used by A. baumannii to escape from host defenses and may help the adoption of measures aimed to limit its further dissemination.
Project description:Multidrug resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter baumannii poses a growing threat to global health. Research on Acinetobacter pathogenesis has primarily focused on pneumonia and bloodstream infections, even though one in five A. baumannii strains are isolated from urinary sites. In this study, we highlight the role of A. baumannii as a uropathogen. We develop the first A. baumannii catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) murine model using UPAB1, a recent MDR urinary isolate. UPAB1 carries the plasmid pAB5, a member of the family of large conjugative plasmids that represses the type VI secretion system (T6SS) in multiple Acinetobacter strains. pAB5 confers niche specificity, as its carriage improves UPAB1 survival in a CAUTI model and decreases virulence in a pneumonia model. Comparative proteomic and transcriptomic analyses show that pAB5 regulates the expression of multiple chromosomally-encoded virulence factors besides T6SS. Our results demonstrate that plasmids can impact bacterial infections by controlling the expression of chromosomal genes.
Project description:Acinetobacter baumannii is a nosocomial agent with a high propensity for developing resistance to antibiotics. This ability relies on horizontal gene transfer mechanisms occurring in the Acinetobacter genus, including natural transformation. To study natural transformation in bacteria, the most prevalent method uses selection for the acquisition of an antibiotic resistance marker in a target chromosomal locus by the recipient cell. Most clinical isolates of A. baumannii are resistant to multiple antibiotics limiting the use of such selection-based method. Here we report the development of a phenotypic and selection-free method based on flow cytometry to detect transformation events in multidrug resistant (MDR) clinical A. baumannii isolates. To this end, we engineered a translational fusion between the abundant and conserved A. baumannii nucleoprotein (HU) and the superfolder green fluorescent protein (sfGFP). The new method was benchmarked against the conventional antibiotic selection-based method. Using this new method, we investigated several parameters affecting transformation efficiencies and identified conditions of transformability one hundred times higher than those previously reported. Using optimized transformation conditions, we probed natural transformation in a set of MDR clinical and non-clinical animal A. baumannii isolates. Regardless of their origin, the majority of the isolates displayed natural transformability, indicative of a conserved trait in the species. Overall, this new method and optimized protocol will greatly facilitate the study of natural transformation in the opportunistic pathogen A. baumanniiIMPORTANCE Antibiotic resistance is a pressing global health concern with the rise of multiple and pan-resistant pathogens. The rapid and unfailing resistance to multiple antibiotics of the nosocomial agent Acinetobacter baumannii, notably to carbapenems, prompt to understand the mechanisms behind acquisition of new antibiotic resistance genes. Natural transformation, one of horizontal gene transfer mechanisms in bacteria, was only recently described in A. baumannii and could explain its ability to acquire resistance genes. We developed a reliable method to probe and study natural transformation mechanism in A. baumannii More broadly, this new method based on flow cytometry will allow experimental detection and quantification of horizontal gene transfer events in multidrug resistant A. baumannii.
Project description:The multidrug-resistant, opportunistic pathogen, Acinetobacter baumannii, has spread swiftly through hospitals worldwide. Previously, we demonstrated that A.?baumannii regulates the expression of various genes in response to DNA damage. Some of these regulated genes, especially those encoding the multiple error-prone DNA polymerases, can be implicated in induced mutagenesis, leading to antibiotic resistance. Here, we further explore the DNA damage-inducible system at the single cell level using chromosomal transcriptional reporters for selected DNA damage response genes. We found the genes examined respond in a bimodal fashion to ciprofloxacin treatment, forming two phenotypic subpopulations: induced and uninduced. This bimodal response to ciprofloxacin treatment in A.?baumannii is unique and quite different than the Escherichia coli paradigm. The subpopulations are not genetically different, with each subpopulation returning to a starting state and differentiating with repeated treatment. We then identified a palindromic motif upstream of certain DNA damage response genes, and have shown alterations to this sequence to diminish the bimodal induction in response to DNA damaging treatment. Lastly, we are able to show a biological advantage for a bimodal response, finding that one subpopulation survives ciprofloxacin treatment better than the other.
Project description:Acinetobacter nosocomialis is an opportunistic human pathogen that is part of the Acinetobacter calcoaceticus/Acinetobacter baumannii (ACB) complex. Here, we report the complete genome sequence of Acinetobacter nosocomialis strain M2.
Project description:Increased expression of chromosomal genes for resistance-nodulation-cell division-type efflux systems plays a major role in the multidrug resistance of Acinetobacter baumannii Little is known about the genetic characteristics of clinical strains of Acinetobacter baumannii lacking the AdeABC pump. In this study, we sequenced the genome of clinical strain Ab421 GEIH-2010 (belonging to clone ST79/PFGE-HUI-1 from the GEIH-REIPI Ab. 2010 project) which lacks this efflux pump.
Project description:Acinetobacter baumannii is an important opportunistic pathogen in hospital, and the multidrug-resistant isolates of A. baumannii have been increasingly reported in recent years. A number of different mechanisms of resistance have been reported, some of which are associated with plasmid-mediated acquisition of genes. Therefore, studies on plasmids in A. baumannii have been a hot issue lately. We have performed complete genome sequencing of A. baumannii MDR-TJ, which is a multidrug-resistant isolate. Finalizing the remaining large scaffold of the previous assembly, we found a new plasmid pABTJ2, which carries many phage-like elements. The plasmid pABTJ2 is a circular double-stranded DNA molecule, which is 110,967bp in length. We annotated 125 CDSs from pABTJ2 using IMG ER and ZCURVE_V, accounting for 88.28% of the whole plasmid sequence. Many phage-like elements and a tRNA-coding gene were detected in pABTJ2, which is rarely reported among A. baumannii. The tRNA gene is specific for asparagine codon GTT, which may be a small chromosomal sequence picked up through incorrect excision during plasmid formation. The phage-like elements may have been acquired during the integration process, as the GC content of the region carrying phage-like elements was higher than that of the adjacent regions. The finding of phage-like elements and tRNA-coding gene in pABTJ2 may provide a novel insight into the study of A. baumannii pan-plasmidome.
Project description:Acinetobacter baumannii, a Gram-negative opportunistic pathogen, is a leading cause of hospital- and community-acquired infections. Acinetobacter baumannii can rapidly acquire diverse resistance mechanisms and undergo genetic modifications that confer resistance and persistence to all currently used clinical antibiotics. In this study, we found exogenous L-lysine sensitizes Acinetobacter baumannii, other Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae) and a Gram-positive bacterium (Mycobacterium smegmatis) to aminoglycosides. Importantly, the combination of L-lysine with aminoglycosides killed clinically isolated multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii and persister cells. The exogenous L-lysine can increase proton motive force via transmembrane chemical gradient, resulting in aminoglycoside acumination that further accounts for reactive oxygen species production. The combination of L-lysine and antibiotics highlights a promising strategy against bacterial infection.
Project description:We previously showed that the opportunistic nosocomial pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii is able to sense and respond to light via BlsA, a BLUF (Blue-Light-sensing Using FAD)-domain photoreceptor protein. Here, we extend our previous studies showing that light regulation is not restricted to A. baumannii, but rather widespread within the genus Acinetobacter. First, we found that blue light modulates motility and biofilm formation in many species of the genus, including members of the Acinetobacter calcoaceticus-A. baumannii complex. In many of these species blue light acts as a key factor guiding the decision between motility or sessility at 24°C, whereas in A. baumannii, light inhibits both motility and biofilm formation. We also show that light regulation of motility occurred not only at 24°C but also at 37°C in non-A. baumannii species, contrasting the situation of A. baumannii which only shows photoregulation at 24°C. Second, we show that Acinetobacter baylyi (strain ADP1) BLUF-photoreceptors can functionally replace in vivo the A. baumannii 17978 BlsA protein and that the pathways leading to biofilm formation are inversely regulated at 24°C between these two microorganisms. Finally, we found the presence of predicted genes coding BLUF-containing proteins in all Acinetobacter sequenced genomes, even though the copy number is variable among them. Phylogenetic analysis suggests a common origin for all BLUF domains present in members of this genus, and could distinguish well-differentiated clusters that group together BLUF homologs from different species, a situation particularly clear for members of the ACB complex. Despite a role played by these BLUF domain-containing proteins in the photoregulation observed in the members of the genus Acinetobacter is a likely scenario given our findings in A. baumannii and A. baylyi, further research will contribute to confirm this possibility.
Project description:Acinetobacter baumannii is a Gram-negative opportunistic pathogen that is frequently associated with nosocomial infections. Bacteriophages infecting A. baumannii can be used as effective agents to control these infections. Here, we announce the complete genome sequence of the lytic bacteriophage LZ35 infecting A. baumannii isolates.