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Microbiology. 2018 Feb;164(2):217-220. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.000598. Epub 2018 Jan 4.

Acinetobacter baumannii isolate BAL_212 from Vietnam produces the K57 capsular polysaccharide containing a rarely occurring amino sugar N-acetylviosamine.

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1​Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.
2​N. D. Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.
3​Higher Chemical College of the Russian Academy of Sciences, D. I. Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia, Moscow, Russia.
4​School of Life and Environmental Sciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.


The structures of capsular polysaccharides (CPSs) produced by different Acinetobacter baumannii strains have proven to be invaluable in confirming the role of specific genes in the synthesis of rare sugars through the correlation of genetic content at the CPS biosynthesis locus with sugars found in corresponding CPS structures. A module of four genes (rmlA, rmlB, vioA and vioB) was identified in the KL57 capsule biosynthesis gene cluster of A. baumannii isolate BAL_212 from Vietnam. These genes were predicted to direct the synthesis of 4-acetamido-4,6-dideoxy-d-glucose (N-acetylviosamine, d-Qui4NAc) and the K57 CPS was found to contain this monosaccharide. The K57 structure was determined and, in addition to d-Qui4NAc, included three N-acetylgalactosamine residues in the main chain, with a single glucose side branch. The KL57 gene cluster has not been found in any other A. baumannii genomes, but the rmlA-rmlB-vioA-vioB module is present in the KL119 gene cluster that would likely produce a d-Qui4NAc-containing CPS.


Acinetobacter baumannii; K locus; K57; N-acetylviosamine; capsule


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