Acinetobacter baumannii continues to be a major health problem especially in hospital settings. Herein, features that may play a role in persistence and disease potential were investigated in a collection of clinical A. baumannii strains from Australia. Twitching motility was found to be a common trait in A. baumannii international clone I strains and in abundant biofilm formers, whereas swarming motility was only observed in isolates not classified within the international clone lineages. Bioinformatic analysis of the type IV fimbriae revealed a correlation between PilA sequence homology and motility. A high level of variability in adherence to both abiotic surfaces and epithelial cells was found. We report for the first time the motility characteristics of a large number of A. baumannii isolates and present a direct comparison of A. baumannii binding to nasopharyngeal and lung epithelial cells.
© 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.