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Sci Rep. 2015 Oct 14;5:15188. doi: 10.1038/srep15188.

Phylogenetic and genomic diversity in isolates from the globally distributed Acinetobacter baumannii ST25 lineage.

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Translational Genomics Research Institute, Flagstaff, AZ, USA.
Center for Microbial Genetics and Genomics, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, USA.
Department of Public Health, University of Naples "Federico II", Naples, Italy.
Department of Microbiology, Medical School, University of Athens, Athens, Greece.
Department of Molecular Biology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
Department of Infectious Diseases, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands.


Acinetobacter baumannii is a globally distributed nosocomial pathogen that has gained interest due to its resistance to most currently used antimicrobials. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) and phylogenetics has begun to reveal the global genetic diversity of this pathogen. The evolution of A. baumannii has largely been defined by recombination, punctuated by the emergence and proliferation of defined clonal lineages. In this study we sequenced seven genomes from the sequence type (ST)25 lineage and compared them to 12 ST25 genomes deposited in public databases. A recombination analysis identified multiple genomic regions that are homoplasious in the ST25 phylogeny, indicating active or historical recombination. Genes associated with antimicrobial resistance were differentially distributed between ST25 genomes, which matched our laboratory-based antimicrobial susceptibility typing. Differences were also observed in biofilm formation between ST25 isolates, which were demonstrated to produce significantly more extensive biofilm than an isolate from the ST1 clonal lineage. These results demonstrate that within A. baumannii, even a fairly recently derived monophyletic lineage can still exhibit significant genotypic and phenotypic diversity. These results have implications for associating outbreaks with sequence typing as well as understanding mechanisms behind the global propagation of successful A. baumannii lineages.

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