Colistin resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii is mediated by complete loss oflipopolysaccharide production

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1128/AAC.00834-10
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TypeArticle
Journal titleAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Volume54
Issue12
Pages49714977; # of pages: 7
AbstractInfections caused by multidrug-resistant (MDR) Gram-negative bacteria represent a major global health problem. Polymyxin antibiotics such as colistin have resurfaced as effective last-resort antimicrobials for use against MDR Gram-negative pathogens, including Acinetobacter baumannii. Here we show that A. baumannii can rapidly develop resistance to polymyxin antibiotics by complete loss of the initial binding target, the lipid A component of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which has long been considered to be essential for the viability of Gram-negative bacteria. We characterized 13 independent colistin-resistant derivatives of A. baumannii type strain ATCC 19606 and showed that all contained mutations within one of the first three genes of the lipid A biosynthesis pathway: lpxA, lpxC, and lpxD. All of these mutations resulted in the complete loss of LPS production. Furthermore, we showed that loss of LPS occurs in a colistin-resistant clinical isolate of A. baumannii. This is the first report of a spontaneously occurring, lipopolysaccharide-deficient, Gram-negative bacterium.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNRC Institute for Biological Sciences; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number17401021
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Record identifier27e847ef-0ef8-449d-9cf9-155d6f7d3a23
Record created2011-03-25
Record modified2016-05-09
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