The role of compatible solutes in desiccation resistance of Acinetobacter baumannii

  • Acinetobacter baumannii is a nosocomial pathogen which can persist in the hospital environment not only due to the acquirement of multiple antibiotic resistances, but also because of its exceptional resistance against disinfectants and desiccation. A suitable desiccation assay was established in which A. baumannii ATCC 19606T survived for ca. 1 month. The growth medium slightly influenced survival after subsequent desiccation. A significant effect could be attributed to the growth phase in which bacteria were dried: In exponential phase, cells were much more desiccation sensitive. The main focus of the present study was the elucidation of the role of compatible solutes, which are known to protect many bacteria under low water activity conditions, in desiccation survival of A. baumannii. Exogenous trehalose was shown to efficiently protect A. baumannii on dry surfaces, in contrast to other compatible solutes tested such as mannitol or glycine betaine. To analyze the importance of intracellularly accumulated solutes, a double mutant lacking biosynthesis pathways for mannitol and trehalose was generated. This mutant accumulated glutamate as sole solute in the presence of high NaCl concentrations and showed severe growth defects under osmotic stress conditions. However, no effect on desiccation tolerance could be seen, neither when cells were dried in water nor in the presence of NaCl.

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Author:Sabine Zeidler, Volker MüllerORCiD
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):MicrobiologyOpen
Place of publication:Malden, Mass.
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2018
Date of first Publication:2018/10/02
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2018/11/13
Tag:Acinetobacter baumannii; compatible solutes; desiccation; mannitol; osmotic stress; trehalose
Page Number:9
First Page:1
Last Page:9
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Institutes:Biowissenschaften / Biowissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0