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Int J Mol Sci ; 24(11)2023 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20243060


The efflux pumps, beside the class D carbapenem-hydrolysing enzymes (CHLDs), are being increasingly investigated as a mechanism of carbapenem resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii. This study investigates the contribution of efflux mechanism to carbapenem resistance in 61 acquired blaCHDL-genes-carrying A. baumannii clinical strains isolated in Warsaw, Poland. Studies were conducted using phenotypic (susceptibility testing to carbapenems ± efflux pump inhibitors (EPIs)) and molecular (determining expression levels of efflux operon with regulatory-gene and whole genome sequencing (WGS)) methods. EPIs reduced carbapenem resistance of 14/61 isolates. Upregulation (5-67-fold) of adeB was observed together with mutations in the sequences of AdeRS local and of BaeS global regulators in all 15 selected isolates. Long-read WGS of isolate no. AB96 revealed the presence of AbaR25 resistance island and its two disrupted elements: the first contained a duplicate ISAba1-blaOXA-23, and the second was located between adeR and adeA in the efflux operon. This insert was flanked by two copies of ISAba1, and one of them provides a strong promoter for adeABC, elevating the adeB expression levels. Our study for the first time reports the involvement of the insertion of the ΔAbaR25-type resistance island fragment with ISAba1 element upstream the efflux operon in the carbapenem resistance of A. baumannii.

Acinetobacter baumannii , Anti-Bacterial Agents , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Anti-Bacterial Agents/metabolism , Acinetobacter baumannii/metabolism , Bacterial Proteins/genetics , Bacterial Proteins/metabolism , Carbapenems/pharmacology , Carbapenems/metabolism , Mutation , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial/genetics
PLoS Pathog ; 18(9): e1010809, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2009723


Acinetobacter baumannii is an opportunistic pathogen and an emerging global health threat. Within healthcare settings, major presentations of A. baumannii include bloodstream infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia. The increased prevalence of ventilated patients during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rise in secondary bacterial pneumonia caused by multidrug resistant (MDR) A. baumannii. Additionally, due to its MDR status and the lack of antimicrobial drugs in the development pipeline, the World Health Organization has designated carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii to be its priority critical pathogen for the development of novel therapeutics. To better inform the design of new treatment options, a comprehensive understanding of how the host contains A. baumannii infection is required. Here, we investigate the innate immune response to A. baumannii by assessing the impact of infection on host gene expression using NanoString technology. The transcriptional profile observed in the A. baumannii infected host is characteristic of Gram-negative bacteremia and reveals expression patterns consistent with the induction of nutritional immunity, a process by which the host exploits the availability of essential nutrient metals to curtail bacterial proliferation. The gene encoding for lipocalin-2 (Lcn2), a siderophore sequestering protein, was the most highly upregulated during A. baumannii bacteremia, of the targets assessed, and corresponds to robust LCN2 expression in tissues. Lcn2-/- mice exhibited distinct organ-specific gene expression changes including increased transcription of genes involved in metal sequestration, such as S100A8 and S100A9, suggesting a potential compensatory mechanism to perturbed metal homeostasis. In vitro, LCN2 inhibits the iron-dependent growth of A. baumannii and induces iron-regulated gene expression. To elucidate the role of LCN2 in infection, WT and Lcn2-/- mice were infected with A. baumannii using both bacteremia and pneumonia models. LCN2 was not required to control bacterial growth during bacteremia but was protective against mortality. In contrast, during pneumonia Lcn2-/- mice had increased bacterial burdens in all organs evaluated, suggesting that LCN2 plays an important role in inhibiting the survival and dissemination of A. baumannii. The control of A. baumannii infection by LCN2 is likely multifactorial, and our results suggest that impairment of iron acquisition by the pathogen is a contributing factor. Modulation of LCN2 expression or modifying the structure of LCN2 to expand upon its ability to sequester siderophores may thus represent feasible avenues for therapeutic development against this pathogen.

Acinetobacter Infections , Acinetobacter baumannii , Bacteremia , COVID-19 , Pneumonia, Bacterial , Acinetobacter baumannii/genetics , Acinetobacter baumannii/metabolism , Animals , Carbapenems/pharmacology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Iron/metabolism , Lipocalin-2/genetics , Lipocalin-2/metabolism , Mice , Pandemics , Siderophores/metabolism
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 10852, 2022 06 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1908290


The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has increased hospital admissions, which could elevate the risk of nosocomial infections, such as A. baumannii and P. aeruginosa infections. Although effective vaccines have been developed against SARS-CoV-2, no approved treatment option is still available against antimicrobial-resistant strains of A. baumannii and P. aeruginosa. In the current study, an all-in-one antigen was designed based on an innovative, state-of-the-art strategy. In this regard, experimentally validated linear epitopes of spike protein (SARS-CoV-2), OmpA (A. baumannii), and OprF (P. aeruginosa) were selected to be harbored by mature OmpA as a scaffold. The selected epitopes were used to replace the loops and turns of the barrel domain in OmpA; OprF311-341 replaced the most similar sequence within the OmpA, and three validated epitopes of OmpA were retained intact. The obtained antigen encompasses five antigenic peptides of spike protein, which are involved in SARS-CoV-2 pathogenicity. One of these epitopes, viz. QTQTNSPRRARSV could trigger antibodies preventing super-antigenic characteristics of spike and alleviating probable autoimmune responses. The designed antigen could raise antibodies neutralizing emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2 since at least two epitopes are consensus. In conclusion, the designed antigen is expected to raise protective antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, A. baumannii, and P. aeruginosa.

Acinetobacter Infections , Acinetobacter baumannii , COVID-19 , Acinetobacter baumannii/metabolism , Epitopes , Humans , Pseudomonas aeruginosa , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism