Use of comparative genomics to characterize the diversity of acinetobacter baumannii surveillance isolates in a health care institution

Lalena Wallace, Sean C. Daugherty, Sushma Nagaraj, J. Kristie Johnson, Anthony D. Harris, David A. Rasko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Despite the increasing prevalence of the nosocomial pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii, little is known about which genomic components contribute to clinical presentation of this important pathogen. Most whole-genome comparisons of A. baumannii have focused on specific genomic regions associated with phenotypes in a limited number of genomes. In this work, we describe the results of a whole-genome comparative analysis of 254 surveillance isolates of Acinetobacter species, 203 of which were A. baumannii, isolated from perianal swabs and sputum samples collected as part of an infection control active surveillance program at the University of Maryland Medical Center. The collection of surveillance isolates includes both carbapenem-susceptible and -resistant isolates. Based on the whole-genome phylogeny, the A. baumannii isolates collected belong to two major phylogenomic lineages. Results from multilocus sequence typing indicated that one of the major phylogenetic groups of A. baumannii was comprised solely of strains from the international clonal lineage 2. The genomic content of the A. baumannii isolates was examined using large-scale BLAST score ratio analysis to identify genes that are associated with carbapenem-susceptible and -resistant isolates, as well as genes potentially associated with the source of isolation. This analysis revealed a number of genes that were exclusive or at greater frequency in each of these classifications. This study is the most comprehensive genomic comparison of Acinetobacter isolates from a surveillance study to date and provides important information that will contribute to our understanding of the success of A. baumannii as a human pathogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5933-5941
Number of pages9
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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