Insight into Molecular Epidemiology, Antimicrobial Resistance, and Virulence Genes of Extensively Drug-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii in Thailand

Microb Drug Resist. 2021 Mar;27(3):350-359. doi: 10.1089/mdr.2020.0064. Epub 2020 Jul 23.


Extensively drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (XDR-AB) is a major threat to public health worldwide. A retrospective study for 27 XDR-AB isolates from four tertiary hospitals in Thailand was conducted. Beta-lactamase and virulence genes were characterized by PCR. The blaADC, blaOXA-51, and blaOXA-23 were detected in all isolates, whereas blaPER-1 and blaNDM-1 genes were present in 7.4% and 3.7% of isolates. All isolates had virulence genes, including genes in iron acquisition system, biofilm formation and secretion systems. The plasmids in XDR-AB belonged to GR2 (100%), GR6 (40.7%), and GR1 (7.4%). Multilocus sequence typing sequence types (STs) were further investigated. The data demonstrated that XDR-AB isolates had nine STs: ST195 (n = 4), ST208 (n = 4), ST368 (n = 1), ST451 (n = 5), ST457 (n = 2), ST1947 (n = 1), ST1166 (n = 7), including two novel STs namely ST1682 (n = 2) and ST1684 (n = 1). We observed that the majority ST1166 (25.9%) was associated with the prevalence of GR2 and GR6 plasmids and traU virulence gene. Genome-based single nucleotide polymorphism phylogenetic analysis of the isolates with two novel ST types indicated that the two isolates belonged to the international clone II (IC2) within the same cluster. In conclusion, our data showed the dissemination of XDR-AB isolates harbored virulence genes and antibiotic resistance genes among four hospitals in Thailand. The results highlighted the difficulty posed for the empirical treatment of the patients with the A. baumannii infection.

Keywords: MLST; antibiotic resistance genes; epidemiology; extensively drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii; plasmid; virulence gene.

MeSH terms

  • Acinetobacter baumannii / genetics*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Genes, Bacterial / genetics
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Multilocus Sequence Typing
  • Plasmids
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thailand / epidemiology
  • Virulence
  • beta-Lactamases / genetics*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • beta-Lactamases