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PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e44597. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044597. Epub 2012 Sep 12.

Diversity of Acinetobacter baumannii in four French military hospitals, as assessed by multiple locus variable number of tandem repeats analysis.

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  • 1Univ Paris-Sud, Institut de Génétique et Microbiologie, UMR8621, Orsay, France.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Infections by A. calcoaceticus-A. baumannii (ACB) complex isolates represent a serious threat for wounded and burn patients. Three international multidrug-resistant (MDR) clones (EU clone I-III) are responsible for a large proportion of nosocomial infections with A. baumannii but other emerging strains with high epidemic potential also occur.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

We automatized a Multiple locus variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) analysis (MLVA) protocol and used it to investigate the genetic diversity of 136 ACB isolates from four military hospitals and one childrens hospital. Acinetobacter sp other than baumannii isolates represented 22.6% (31/137) with a majority being A. pittii. The genotyping protocol designed for A.baumannii was also efficient to cluster A. pittii isolates. Fifty-five percent of A. baumannii isolates belonged to the two international clones I and II, and we identified new clones which members were found in the different hospitals. Analysis of two CRISPR-cas systems helped define two clonal complexes and provided phylogenetic information to help trace back their emergence.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

The increasing occurrence of A. baumannii infections in the hospital calls for measures to rapidly characterize the isolates and identify emerging clones. The automatized MLVA protocol can be the instrument for such surveys. In addition, the investigation of CRISPR/cas systems may give important keys to understand the evolution of some highly successful clonal complexes.

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