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Studies have shown how Acinetobacter baumannii can survive without water on the surface of the hospital.

Cell Host & Microbe (2022) DOI: 10.1016 / j.chom.2022.03.019 “width =” 800 “height =” 530 “/>

Graphical abstraction. credit: Cell hosts and microorganisms (2022). DOI: 10.1016 / j.chom.2022.03.019

The pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii can survive for several months on the surface of the hospital without water and is a major cause of nosocomial infections.


Currently, a team of researchers at Vanderbilt University have discovered the mechanism that this bug uses to live in a dry state. It produces a “hydrophyllin” protein that protects against water deficiency.

Findings reported in the journal Cell hosts and microorganismsBy targeting these hydrophyllin proteins, we can guide new strategies for eliminating A. baumannii from the surface.

The World Health Organization is A. Due to the growth of baumannii, we consider new antibiotics to be one of the highest priority bacteria in need. Antibiotic resistanceDr. Eric Scar, MPH, Ernest W. Goodpasture, Professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, said.

“The fact that A. Baumani contaminates the surface of the hospital and is very difficult to remove brings it into close contact with very vulnerable patients,” said the director of the Vanderbild Institute for Infection, Immunology and Inflammation. But Scar said. The disruption of infection control practices during the COVID-19 pandemic is A. It has led to a recent surge in cases of Baumani.

Findings may also have translation applications for storing protein and viable cell-based medicines (probiotics).

“The challenge for probiotics is getting enough bacteria from the stomach into the intestines,” says Skaar. “When these proteins are put into probiotics from Acinetobacter, the organism survives the drying process and is much more likely to come out of the pill alive.”

A. Explore how Baumani tolerates Water loss, Postdoc Dr. Erin Green, A. He led a study that first investigated the effects of drought on Baumani’s physiology and etiology. The researchers are A. We have found that baumannii can withstand desiccation for more than 7 months, and when dried and then rehydrated, it causes more virulent infections in mice. They also showed that the recently isolated clinical strain of A. baumannii was 10 times more resistant to drought than the older laboratory strain.

Using genetic screening, Green et al. Discovered two A. baumannii “dry-tolerant proteins.” This group was named DtpA and DtpB. Proteins have an unusual amino acid sequence of repeating units and do not look like typical proteins, Scar said.

Protein sequence Really surprisingly, DtpA and DtpB share these anomalous functions with a group of proteins called “intrinsically disordered proteins” that exist in organisms known to be highly resistant to water starvation. I quickly realized that it was. ”

The list of organisms includes tardigrades, nematodes, yeasts, and plant seeds. DtpA and DtpB are some of the first characterized bacterial intrinsic disordered proteins.

“It was very cool to understand that Acinetobacter uses the same strategy as tardigrades to resist water restriction. Tardigrades are one of the most resilient animals known. Has withstood exposure to space, “Scar said.

Researchers have demonstrated that DtpA can be expressed in another probiotic strain. Bacteria The idea of ​​using DtpA or similar proteins to extend protection against water loss to that strain and to aid the survival of probiotics after desiccation can be supported.They also showed that the purified protein was dried or heat-inactivated. Enzyme Protected the activity of the enzyme in the presence of DtpA.

“We believe these proteins have valuable commercial uses for maintaining the activity of proteins and probiotic therapies,” says Skaar.

In addition to Green and Skaar, authors include Dr. Andrew Monteith and Dr. Hualiang Pi of VUMC, Dr. Joseph Fakhoury and Dr. David Giedroc of Indiana University.


How bugs overcome host defenses


For more information:
Erin R. Green et al, Bacterial hydrophyllin promotes pathogen drought resistance, Cell hosts and microorganisms (2022). DOI: 10.1016 / j.chom.2022.03.019

Quote: According to research, Acinetobacter Baumanni can survive without water on the surface of the hospital (May 2, 2022).

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Studies have shown how Acinetobacter baumannii can survive without water on the surface of the hospital.

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