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Survey on Genetic Diversity, Biofilm Formation, and Detection of Colistin Resistance Genes in Clinical Isolates of Acinetobacter baumannii

Authors Khoshnood S, Savari M, Abbasi Montazeri E, Farajzadeh Sheikh A

Received 18 March 2020

Accepted for publication 1 May 2020

Published 27 May 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 1547—1558


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Suresh Antony

Saeed Khoshnood,1,2 Mohammad Savari,1,2 Effat Abbasi Montazeri,1,2 Ahmad Farajzadeh Sheikh1,2

1Infectious and Tropical Diseases Research Center, Health Research Institute, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran; 2Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran

Correspondence: Ahmad Farajzadeh Sheikh
Infectious and Tropical Diseases Research Center, Health Research Institute, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Khuzestan 61357-15794, Iran
Tel +98 9161133491
Fax +98 61 3333 2036

Introduction: Acinetobacter baumannii is an opportunistic pathogen responsible for nosocomial infections. The emergence of colistin-resistant A. baumannii is a significant threat to public health. The aim of this study was to investigate the molecular characterization and genotyping of clinical A. baumannii isolates in Southwestern Iran.
Methods: A total of 70 A. baumannii isolates were collected from patients admitted to Imam Khomeini Hospital in Ahvaz, Southwestern Iran. Minimum inhibitory concentration test was conducted by using Vitek 2 system. The presence of biofilm-forming genes and colistin resistance-related genes were evaluated by PCR. The isolates were also examined for their biofilm formation ability and the expression of pmrA and pmrB genes. Finally, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and PCR-based sequence group were used to determine the genetic relationships of the isolates.
Results: Overall, 61 (87.1%) and 9 (12.8%) isolates were multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR), respectively. Colistin and tigecycline with 2 (2.8%) and 32 (45.7%) resistance rates had the highest effect. Among all the isolates, 55 (78.5%), 7 (10%), and 3 (4.3%) were strong, moderate, and weak biofilm producers, respectively. The frequency rates of biofilm-related genes were 64 (91.4%), 70 (100%), 56 (80%), and 22 (31.42%) for bap, ompA, csuE, and blaPER1, respectively. Overexpression of pmrA and pmrB genes was observed in two colistin-resistance isolates, but the expression of these genes did not change in colistin-sensitive isolates. Additionally, 37 (52.8%) and 8 (11.4%) isolates belonged to groups 1 (ICII) and 2 (IC I), respectively. MLST analysis revealed a total of nine different sequence types that six isolates belonged to clonal complex 92 (corresponding to ST801, ST118, ST138, ST 421, and ST735). Other isolates were belonging to ST133 and ST216, and two colistin-resistant (Ab4 and Ab41) isolates were belonging to ST387 and ST1812.
Conclusion: The present study revealed the presence of MDR and XDR A. baumannii isolates harboring biofilm genes and emergence of colistin-resistant isolates in Southwestern Iran. These isolates had high diversity, which was affirmed by typing techniques. The control measures and regular surveillance are urgently needed to preclude the spread of these isolates.

Keywords: Acinetobacter baumannii, drug resistance, colistin, MLST, clonal complex

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