Friday, April 23, 2010

EZ-Tn5™ Transposomes help reveal virulence factors in Acinetobacter baumanii

Acinetobacter baumanii is a pathogenic bacterium that has been demonstrated to cause pneumonia, skin infections, and secondary meningitis, predominantly in a health-care facility setting. Its ability to form biofilms on inert surfaces is instrumental in creating reservoirs for opportunistic infection. Unfortunately, very little is known about the genetics of this organism, which hinders the study of pathogenic factors in A. baumanii infection. In a recent study, Jacobs et al.* describe the use of the EZ-Tn5™ Transposome in inactivation of the Phospholipase D gene in various strains of A. baumanii, and report that the creation of a polar mutation in this locus reduces the pathogenicity of the bacterium. Inactivation of Phospholipase D showed reduction of overall A. baumanii bioburden in the blood, heart, and liver in a murine model, but did not reduce the bioburden in the lungs. The utility of the EZ-Tn5 Transposome system to develop genetic systems for novel or poorly studied microbes is once again demonstrated.*Jacobs, A. et al. (2010). Inactivation of Phospholipase D Diminishes Acinetobacter baumannii Pathogenesis Infection and Immunity, 78 (5), 1952-1962 DOI: 10.1128/IAI.00889-09

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