Response to Bile Salts in Clinical Strains of Acinetobacter baumannii Lacking the AdeABC Efflux Pump: Virulence Associated with Quorum Sensing
We investigated the mechanisms of resistance to carbapenems, aminoglycosides, glycylcyclines, tetracyclines, and quinolones in 90 multiresistant clinical strains of Acinetobacter baumannii isolated from two genetically unrelated A. baumannii clones: clone PFGE-ROC-1 (53 strains producing the OXA-58 β-lactamase enzyme and 18 strains with the OXA-24 β-lactamase) and clone PFGE-HUI-1 (19 strains susceptible to carbapenems). We used real-time reverse transcriptase PCR to correlate antimicrobial resistance (MICs) with expression of genes encoding chromosomal β-lactamases (AmpC and OXA-51), porins (OmpA, CarO, Omp33, Dcap-like, OprB, Omp25, OprC, OprD, and OmpW), and proteins integral to six efflux systems (AdeABC, AdeIJK, AdeFGH, CraA, AbeM, and AmvA). Overexpression of the AdeABC system (level of expression relative to that by A. baumannii ATCC 17978, 30- to 45-fold) was significantly associated with resistance to tigecycline, minocycline, and gentamicin and other biological functions. However, hyperexpression of the AdeIJK efflux pump (level of expression relative to that by A. baumannii ATCC 17978, 8- to 10-fold) was significantly associated only with resistance to tigecycline and minocycline (to which the TetB efflux system also contributed). TetB and TetA(39) efflux pumps were detected in clinical strains and were associated with resistance to tetracyclines and doxycycline. The absence of the AdeABC system and the lack of expression of other mechanisms suggest that tigecycline-resistant strains of the PFGE-HUI-1 clone may be associated with a novel resistance-nodulation-cell efflux pump (decreased MICs in the presence of the inhibitor Phe-Arg β-naphthylamide dihydrochloride) and the TetA(39) system.