Genome dynamics of multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii during infection and treatment

Genome Medicine
Meredith S WrightMark D Adams


Limited treatment options are available for patients infected with multidrug (MDR)- or pan-drug (PDR)-resistant bacterial pathogens, resulting in infections that can persist for weeks or months. In order to better understand transmission and evolutionary dynamics of MDR Acinetobacter baumannii (Ab) during long-term infection, we analyzed genomes from a series of isolates from individual patients at isolate-specific, patient-specific, and population levels. Whole genome analysis of longitudinal isolates (range 2-10 isolates per patient spanning 0-829 days) from 40 patients included detection of single-nucleotide variants (SNVs), insertion sequence (IS) mapping, and gene content changes. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that a significant fraction of apparently persistent infections are in fact due to re-infection with new strains. SNVs primarily resulted in protein coding changes, and IS events primarily interrupted genes or were in an orientation such that the adjacent gene would be over-expressed. Mutations acquired during infection were over-represented in transcriptional regulators, notably pmrAB and adeRS, which can mediate resistance to the last line therapies colistin and tigecycline, respectively, as well as transporters, ...Continue Reading


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