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Res Microbiol. 2011 Apr;162(3):279-84. doi: 10.1016/j.resmic.2010.10.010. Epub 2010 Dec 7.

Genome-assisted identification of putative iron-utilization genes in Acinetobacter baumannii and their distribution among a genotypically diverse collection of clinical isolates.

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Department of Biology, University Roma Tre, Viale G. Marconi 446, 00146 Roma, Italy.


New putative iron-uptake genes were identified in published genomes of the opportunistic human pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii, and their occurrence was determined in a genotypically distinct collection of 50 clinical isolates by PCR and Southern blot assays. The results demonstrated that all A. baumannii isolates tested share the coding potential for two endogenous siderophores, a heme-acquisition and a ferrous iron-uptake system. A second heme-uptake cluster was detected in almost two thirds of isolates, without any apparent correlation with the clonal lineage of the strains. The wide distribution of multiple iron-acquisition systems among diverse A. baumannii clinical isolates argues for a contribution of iron uptake to the pathogenicity of this species.

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