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, 43 (4), 1632-9

Species-level Identification of Isolates of the Acinetobacter calcoaceticus-Acinetobacter Baumannii Complex by Sequence Analysis of the 16S-23S rRNA Gene Spacer Region

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Species-level Identification of Isolates of the Acinetobacter calcoaceticus-Acinetobacter Baumannii Complex by Sequence Analysis of the 16S-23S rRNA Gene Spacer Region

Hsien Chang Chang et al. J Clin Microbiol.

Abstract

The species Acinetobacter calcoaceticus, A. baumannii, genomic species 3, and genomic species 13TU included in the Acinetobacter calcoaceticus-Acinetobacter baumannii complex are genetically highly related and difficult to distinguish phenotypically. Except for A. calcoaceticus, they are all important nosocomial species. In the present study, the usefulness of the 16S-23S rRNA gene intergenic spacer (ITS) sequence for the differentiation of (genomic) species in the A. calcoaceticus-A. baumannii complex was evaluated. The ITSs of 11 reference strains of the complex and 17 strains of other (genomic) species of Acinetobacter were sequenced. The ITS lengths (607 to 638 bp) and sequences were highly conserved for strains within the A. calcoaceticus-A. baumannii complex. Intraspecies ITS sequence similarities ranged from 0.99 to 1.0, whereas interspecies similarities varied from 0.86 to 0.92. By using these criteria, 79 clinical isolates identified as A. calcoaceticus (18 isolates) or A. baumannii (61 isolates) with the API 20 NE system (bioMerieux Vitek, Marcy l'Etoile, France) were identified as A. baumannii (46 isolates), genomic species 3 (19 isolates), and genomic species 13TU (11 isolates) by ITS sequencing. An identification rate of 96.2% (76 of 79 isolates) was obtained by using ITS sequence analysis for identification of isolates in the A. calcoaceticus-A. baumannii complex, and the accuracy of the method was confirmed for a subset of strains by amplified rRNA gene restriction analysis and genomic DNA analysis by AFLP analysis by using libraries of profiles of reference strains. In conclusion, ITS sequence-based identification is reliable and provides a promising tool for elucidation of the clinical significance of the different species of the A. calcoaceticus-A. baumannii complex.

Figures

FIG. 1.
FIG. 1.
Amplification of Acinetobacter spp. with primers 1512F and 6R and separation of the PCR products by 2% agarose gel electrophoresis. Lanes: M, 100-bp DNA ladder; 1, A. calcoaceticus; 2, A. baumannii; 3, genomic species 3; 4, A. haemolyticus; 5, A. junii; 6, genomic species 6; 7, A. johnsonii; 8, A. lwoffii; 9, genomic species 10; 10, genomic species 11; 11, A. radioresistens; 12, genomic species 13TU; 13, genomic species 14TU; 14, genomic species 15TU; 15, genomic species 14BJ; 16, genomic species 15BJ; 17, genomic species 16; 18, genomic species 17; 19, A. venetianus; 20, A. ursingii; 21, A. schindleri.

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