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IUBMB Life. 2011 Dec;63(12):1068-74. doi: 10.1002/iub.531. Epub 2011 Oct 27.

The genomics of Acinetobacter baumannii: insights into genome plasticity, antimicrobial resistance and pathogenicity.

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Department of Biology and Biotechnology Charles Darwin, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.


The genome sequences of a number of Acinetobacter baumannii strains, including representatives of the main epidemic international lineages, have now been determined, and several others are in progress. The study of A. baumannii genomics has provided an expanded view of the adaptation and virulence capacities of this bacterial species, whilst also presenting novel insights into its intraspecies diversity and genome evolution. Genomic analyses have revealed that the current A. baumannii clinical population consists of low-grade pathogens, whose pathogenicity relies mainly on an ability to persist in the hospital setting and survive antibiotic treatment. A. baumannii has a high capacity to acquire new genetic determinants and displays an open pan genome; this feature may have played a crucial role in the evolution of this human opportunistic pathogen towards clinical success.

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