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Genes 2017, 8(1), 12; doi:10.3390/genes8010012

Genetic Regulation of Virulence and Antibiotic Resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii

Department of Microbiology, School of Genetics and Microbiology, Moyne Institute of Preventive Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland
Department of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Oberschleißheim 85764, Germany
Department of Biology, University of Regina, Regina, SK S4S 042, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Helen J. Wing
Received: 22 September 2016 / Revised: 18 December 2016 / Accepted: 20 December 2016 / Published: 28 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virulence Gene Regulation in Bacteria)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [663 KB, uploaded 28 December 2016]   |  


Multidrug resistant microorganisms are forecast to become the single biggest challenge to medical care in the 21st century. Over the last decades, members of the genus Acinetobacter have emerged as bacterial opportunistic pathogens, in particular as challenging nosocomial pathogens because of the rapid evolution of antimicrobial resistances. Although we lack fundamental biological insight into virulence mechanisms, an increasing number of researchers are working to identify virulence factors and to study antibiotic resistance. Here, we review current knowledge regarding the regulation of virulence genes and antibiotic resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii. A survey of the two-component systems AdeRS, BaeSR, GacSA and PmrAB explains how each contributes to antibiotic resistance and virulence gene expression, while BfmRS regulates cell envelope structures important for pathogen persistence. A. baumannii uses the transcription factors Fur and Zur to sense iron or zinc depletion and upregulate genes for metal scavenging as a critical survival tool in an animal host. Quorum sensing, nucleoid-associated proteins, and non-classical transcription factors such as AtfA and small regulatory RNAs are discussed in the context of virulence and antibiotic resistance. View Full-Text
Keywords: Acinetobacter baumannii; virulence gene regulation; two-component systems; multidrug efflux pumps; metal acquisition; antibiotic resistance Acinetobacter baumannii; virulence gene regulation; two-component systems; multidrug efflux pumps; metal acquisition; antibiotic resistance

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Kröger, C.; Kary, S.C.; Schauer, K.; Cameron, A.D.S. Genetic Regulation of Virulence and Antibiotic Resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii. Genes 2017, 8, 12.

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