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Res Microbiol. 2004 Mar;155(2):105-12.

Identification of a new geographically widespread multiresistant Acinetobacter baumannii clone from European hospitals.

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Eijkman-Winkler Center for Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and Inflammation, University Medical Center Utrecht, AZU G04.614, P.O. Box 85500, 3508 GA, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


The aim of the study was to investigate the genetic diversity of Acinetobacter baumannii clinical strains that had previously been allocated to three major groups based on automated ribotyping. Forty-seven isolates from European hospitals and one isolate from a South African hospital, geographically representative of the three ribogroups (ribogroups 1, 2 and 3 with 10, 23 and 15 isolates, respectively), were analysed using the highly discriminatory fingerprinting methods AFLP and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Based on AFLP data, the isolates clustered into three main groups, each corresponding to one ribogroup. Inclusion of reference strains of the previously described clones I and II, responsible for outbreaks in northwestern European hospitals, showed that ribogroups 1 and 2 correspond to clones I and II, respectively, whereas ribogroup 3 apparently represents a new clone. This clone III was found in France, The Netherlands, Italy and Spain. Clones I and II were not limited to northwestern European countries, as they were also recovered from Spain, South Africa, Poland and Italy (clone I) and from Spain, Portugal, South Africa, France, Greece and Turkey (clone II). Combined AFLP and PFGE data showed intraclonal diversity and led to the distinction of 23 different genotypes. Three genotypes, two of them belonging to clone II and one to clone III, were found in different hospitals and may correspond to subsets of isolates with a more recent clonal relationship, which emphasizes the epidemic potential of these organisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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