Research Papers:

Distribution of virulence-associated genes and antimicrobial susceptibility in clinical Acinetobacter baumannii isolates

Chao Liu, Yaowen Chang, Ying Xu, Yun Luo, Linrong Wu, Zhanjun Mei, Shigang Li, Rui Wang _ and Xu Jia

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:21663-21673. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.24651

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Chao Liu1,*, Yaowen Chang1,*, Ying Xu2, Yun Luo1, Linrong Wu1, Zhanjun Mei1, Shigang Li1, Rui Wang1 and Xu Jia1

1Non-coding RNA and Drug Discovery Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu Medical College, Chengdu, Sichuan, China

2Clinical Laboratory, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chengdu Medical College, Chengdu, Sichuan, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Rui Wang, email: [email protected]

Xu Jia, email: [email protected]

Keywords: Acinetobacter baumannii; antimicrobial resistance; MDR; virulence genes; PFGE

Received: December 11, 2017     Accepted: February 26, 2018     Published: April 24, 2018


Acinetobacter baumannii is undoubtedly one of the most clinically significant pathogens. The multidrug resistance and virulence potential of A. baumannii are responsible for hospital-acquired nosocomial infections. Unlike numerous investigations on the drug-resistant epidemiology of A. baumanni, virulence molecular epidemiology is less studied. Here, we collected 88 A. baumannii clinical isolates, tested their antimicrobial susceptibility to 10 commonly used antibiotics and analyzed the distribution of 9 selected virulence-associated genes, aims to investigate the primary characteristics of the virulence-associated genes that exist in clinically multidrug resistant (MDR) and non-MDR isolates of A. baumannii. The MIC results showed the resistance rates of ciprofloxacin (68.2%, 60/88), gentamicin (67.0%, 59/88), amikacin (58.0%, 51/88), tobramycin (58.0%, 51/88), doxycycline (67.0%, 59/88), meropenem (54.5%, 48/88) and imipenem (65.9%, 58/88) were all above 50%, except for levofloxacin (34.1%, 30/88), minocycline (1.1%, 1/88) and polymyxin B (0%, 0/88). The Pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis revealed that the resistance rate of MDR A. baumannii isolates in the Epidemic group was predominant (79.5%, 44/58), but in the Sporadic group was only 6.7% (2/30). Further investigation on the distribution of virulence genes showed the virulence genes bap (95.5%), surA1 (92.0%), BasD (92.0%), paaE (88.6%), pld (87.5%), BauA (62.5%), omp33-36 (59.1%) and pglC (53.4%) were accounted for high proportion, except for traT (0%). Overall, our results revealed that MDR isolates predominated in the Epidemic A. baumannii isolates, and contained a very high proportion of virulence genes, which may lead to high risk, high pathogenicity and high treatment challenge.

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