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Acinetobacter colistiniresistens sp nov (formerly genomic species 13 sensu Bouvet and Jeanjean and genomic species 14 sensu Tjernberg and Ursing), isolated from human infections and characterized by intrinsic resistance to polymyxins

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Year of publication 2017
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
MU Faculty or unit

Central European Institute of Technology

Field Microbiology, virology
Keywords gyrB gene; MALDI-TOF MS; metabolic and physiological properties; rpoB gene; whole-genome sequence
Description Strains of the genus Acinetobacter, classified as genomic species 13BJ/14TU have been previously associated with human infections and resistance to colistin. To clarify the taxonomy of this provisional group, we investigated 24 strains that have been isolated from humans since the 1960s in 10 countries. The genus-wide analysis of the rpoB and gyrB sequences of all strains and whole-genome sequences of strains representing different rpoB/gyrB genotypes showed that the 24 strains formed a distinct monophyletic group within the so-called haemolytic clade of the genus Acinetobacter. The distinctness of the group at the species level was supported by the results of the cluster analysis of the whole-cell protein fingerprints generated by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight MS. The 24 strains had very similar metabolic features and could be distinguished from other members of the genus by the combination of strong haemolytic and proteolytic activities and the ability to oxidize D-glucose and grow on phenylacetate and/or L-phenylalanine. The minimum inhibitory concentrations of the 24 strains to colistin and polymyxin B ranged from 16 to 64 mgl(-1) and from 4 to 32 mgl(-1), respectively, so uniformly reaching the current clinical resistance breakpoint (4mg l(-1)) for these drugs. Genus-wide comparison revealed that such a consistently high level of resistance to polymyxins is a unique feature among species of the genus Acinetobacter, which occur in humans. We conclude that genomic species 13BJ/14TU represents a biologically meaningful and medically relevant species, for which the name Acinetobacter colistiniresistens sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is NIPH 2036(T) (=CCM 8641(T)=CIP 110478(T)=CCUG 67966(T)=CNCTC 7573(T)).
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