Loss of LPS is involved in the virulence and resistance to colistin of colistin-resistant Acinetobacter nosocomialis mutants selected in vitro.

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Loss of LPS is involved in the virulence and resistance to colistin of colistin-resistant Acinetobacter nosocomialis mutants selected in vitro.

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2015 Aug 25;

Authors: Vila-Farrés X, Ferrer-Navarro M, Callarisa AE, Martí S, Espinal P, Gupta S, Rolain JM, Giralt E, Vila J

Abstract
OBJECTIVES: Acinetobacter nosocomialis has increasingly been reported as an opportunistic pathogen causing nosocomial infections. Although it is more susceptible to all antimicrobial agents than Acinetobacter baumannii, MDR clinical isolates have also been described. In addition, several studies have shown a high percentage of resistance to colistin. Therefore, in the present study we investigated the mechanism of resistance to colistin in this microorganism.
METHODS: Colistin-resistant strains were selected from the original colistin-susceptible A. nosocomialis strain following multi-step mutant selection. Comparative genomic and proteomic analyses of both colistin-susceptible and colistin-resistant A. nosocomialis strains were performed. In addition, virulence was investigated using the Caenorhabditis elegans assay.
RESULTS: The colistin-resistant mutants selected showed a lower resistance profile for other types of antibacterial agents together with a significant decrease in virulence. The LT50 (i.e. time required to kill 50% of the nematodes) for the colistin-susceptible strain (WT) was 7 days compared with 9 days for the colistin-resistant strain (256) (P < 0.0001). In the genomic studies, several mutations were observed in the lpxD genes, leading to the loss of LPS in the colistin-resistant strains. The proteomic studies showed several up- and down-regulated proteins that may be involved in colistin resistance or in a decrease in the resistance profile for several antibiotics.
CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that the mechanism of resistance to colistin by A. nosocomialis is mainly associated with the loss of LPS due to mutations in the lpxD gene, although changes in the expression of some proteins cannot be ruled out. In addition, the acquisition of colistin resistance is related to a decrease in virulence.

PMID: 26311838 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]