Caister Academic Press

Molecular Basis of Acinetobacter Virulence and Pathogenicity

Andrew P. Tomaras, Caleb W. Dorsey, Christin McQueary and Luis A. Actis
from: Acinetobacter Molecular Biology (Edited by: Ulrike Gerischer). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2008)


Acinetobacter baumannii is the most relevant human pathogen within the Acinetobacter genus. This opportunistic human pathogen causes a wide variety of serious infections in humans, mostly in compromised patients. Recently, A. baumannii has emerged as an important pathogen among wounded soldiers, threatening civilian and military patients. It is apparent that this opportunistic pathogen expresses a myriad of factors that could play a role in the pathogenesis of the infection it causes in humans. Among these factors are the attachment to and persistence on solid surfaces, the acquisition of essential nutrients such as iron, the adhesion to epithelial cells and their subsequent killing by apoptosis, and the production and/or secretion of enzymes and toxic products that damage host tissues. However, very little is known about the molecular nature of most of these processes and factors and almost nothing has been shown with regard to their role in bacterial virulence and the pathogenesis of serious infectious diseases. Fortunately, some of these gaps can now be filled by testing appropriate isogenic derivatives in relevant animal models that mimic the infections in humans, particularly the outcome of deadly pneumonia. Such an approach should provide new and relevant information on the virulence traits of this normally underestimated bacterial human pathogen read more ...
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