The emergence of extreme-drug-resistant (EDR) bacterial strains in hospital and nonhospital clinical settings is a big and growing public health threat. Understanding the antibiotic resistance mechanisms at the genomic levels can facilitate the development of next-generation agents. Here, comparative genomics has been employed to analyze the rapid evolution of an EDR Acinetobacter baumannii clone from the intensive care unit (ICU) of Rigshospitalet at Copenhagen. Two resistant A. baumannii strains, 48055 and 53264, were sequentially isolated from two individuals who had been admitted to ICU within a 1-month interval. Multilocus sequence typing indicates that these two isolates belonged to ST208. The A. baumannii 53264 strain gained colistin resistance compared with the 48055 strain and became an EDR strain. Genome sequencing indicates that A. baumannii 53264 and 48055 have almost identical genomes-61 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were found between them. The A. baumannii 53264 strain was assembled into 130 contigs, with a total length of 3,976,592 bp with 38.93% GC content. The A. baumannii 48055 strain was assembled into 135 contigs, with a total length of 4,049,562 bp with 39.00% GC content. Genome comparisons showed that this A. baumannii clone is classified as an International clone II strain and has 94% synteny with the A. baumannii ACICU strain. The ResFinder server identified a total of 14 antibiotic resistance genes in the A. baumannii clone. Proteomic analyses revealed that a putative porin protein was down-regulated when A. baumannii 53264 was exposed to antimicrobials, which may reduce the entry of antibiotics into the bacterial cell.
Keywords: Acinetobacter baumannii; antibiotic resistance; comparative genomics; single-nucleotide polymorphism.