Acinetobacter baumannii is an emerging pathogen responsible for a significant percentage of nosocomial infections. It has also been problematic for the military in Iraq and Afghanistan, where it is the cause of softtissue infections associated with war-related trauma. Two properties of A. baumannii Xhaf contribute to its persistence as a pathogen are its propensity to accumulate drug resistance genes and a striking ability to tolerate biocides and desiccation. This project will use RNA-seq analysis to identify and define the functions of sRNA regulators (sRNAs) whose expression is associated with seven clinically relevant resistance traits of A. baumannii. These include resistance to four antibiotics, two biocides and desiccation. sRNAs are expressed in response to specific environmental signals, they are synthesized rapidly and they act quickly to control gene expression at the translational level. We hypothesize that sRNAs help A. baumannii io cope with cell envelope and metabolic stresses associated with antibiotic, biocide and desiccation exposure. Our results will open avenues for the development of new lines of defense against Acinetobacter infections.
Acinetobacter baumannii causes infections in hospitalized patients. It is a problem to treat these infections because this microbe is resistant to multiple antibiotics. This project seeks to better understand why A. baumannii is so resistant to antibiotics.