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Nat Commun. 2019 Jun 24;10(1):2763. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-10706-y.

Urinary tract colonization is enhanced by a plasmid that regulates uropathogenic Acinetobacter baumannii chromosomal genes.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Microbiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO, 63110, USA.
2
Department of Molecular Microbiology, Center for Women's Infectious Disease Research, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO, 63110, USA.
3
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, 46556, USA.
4
Division of Infectious Diseases, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, 63110, USA.
5
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne at the Peter Doherty, Parkville, Victoria, 3010, Australia.
6
Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology and Vanderbilt Institute for Infection, Immunology and Inflammation, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, 37232, USA.
7
The Edison Family Center for Genome Sciences and System Biology, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, 63110, USA.
8
Universidad de Buenos Aires, Facultad de Farmacia y Bioquímica, Departamento de Microbiología, Inmunología, Biotecnología y Genética, Cátedra de Microbiología, Buenos Aires, C1113AAD, Argentina.
9
Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, 63110, USA.
10
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, 63105, USA.
11
Department of Molecular Microbiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO, 63110, USA. mariofeldman@wustl.edu.

Abstract

Multidrug resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter baumannii poses a growing threat to global health. Research on Acinetobacter pathogenesis has primarily focused on pneumonia and bloodstream infections, even though one in five A. baumannii strains are isolated from urinary sites. In this study, we highlight the role of A. baumannii as a uropathogen. We develop the first A. baumannii catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) murine model using UPAB1, a recent MDR urinary isolate. UPAB1 carries the plasmid pAB5, a member of the family of large conjugative plasmids that represses the type VI secretion system (T6SS) in multiple Acinetobacter strains. pAB5 confers niche specificity, as its carriage improves UPAB1 survival in a CAUTI model and decreases virulence in a pneumonia model. Comparative proteomic and transcriptomic analyses show that pAB5 regulates the expression of multiple chromosomally-encoded virulence factors besides T6SS. Our results demonstrate that plasmids can impact bacterial infections by controlling the expression of chromosomal genes.

PMID:
31235751
PMCID:
PMC6591400
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-019-10706-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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