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Identification of Acinetobacter baumannii of Human and Animal Origins by a Gene-Specific PCR

Hamouda, Ahmed
Current microbiology 2017 v.74 no.9 pp. 1118-1122
Acinetobacter baumannii, biomarkers, cross infection, genes, genomics, humans, pathogens, polymerase chain reaction, screening
Acinetobacter baumannii is a notorious nosocomial pathogen known for its ability to cause severe infections, especially in intensive care units. The identification of a conserved gene encoding a hypothetical protein in A. baumannii isolates but not in other Acinetobacter species during a comparative genomic analysis was reported. For the purpose of this study, we call this gene, A.b_hyp gene. The aim of this study was to report the results of screening for the presence of the A.b_hyp gene in a worldwide collection of well-characterized A. baumannii collected from clinical and animal specimens. A total of 83 clinical, animal, and type strains were used. These comprised 73 A. baumannii isolates of clinical (n = 60) and animal origin (n = 13), and ten type strains, including a positive control strain, A. baumannii ATCC 19606. All isolates were examined by PCR amplification of the A.b_hyp gene. The A.b_hyp gene was detected in 72 isolates (99%) of A. baumannii but one clinical isolate failed to produce an amplicon. The control strain, A. baumannii ATCC 19606, was also positive for this gene. No bands were detected in non-A. baumannii species and therefore the isolates are thought to be negative for the gene. No bands were detected in non-A. baumannii isolates and therefore they are thought to be negative for the gene. The PCR A.b_ hyp method provides evidence that detection of this gene can be used as a reliable, easy, and low-cost biomarker for A. baumannii identification.