Аcinetobacter baumannii bv Tryptophandestruens bv nov. isolated from clinical samples

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Abstract

The aim of the study was to determine the taxonomic status of a group consisting of atypical strains of Acinetobacter baumannii, outline relevant characteristics and methods necessary for their identification. There were examined 10 strains of A. baumannii (6 of them primary comprised) bearing similar profile of atypical features isolated from clinical samples (urine, sputum) in 2017–2019 at the Military Medical Academy. Сlinical strains of typical A. baumannii (n = 36), Acinetobacter nosocomialis (n = 14), Acinetobacter pittii (n = 9) and 1 strain of Acinetobacter calcoaceticus isolated from the external environment were used in comparative studies. Atypical strains had the characteristics of A. calcoaceticus — A. baumannii (ACB) complex bacteria and were identified as A. baumannii. The utilization of substrates as the only carbon source was studied on a dense synthetic medium added with 0.2 % substrate during incubation for 72 hours at 37°C. Carbohydrate oxidation coupled to acid formation was detected on the Hugh–Leifson medium by using a micromethod. Aromatic amino acid biotransformation was carried out in liquid and dense nutrient media assessed in chromogenic reaction. The rpoB gene was used for strain genetic characterization. Amplification of two 940 and 1210 base pair (bp)-long fragments from the rpoB gene was performed by the routine polymerase chain reaction using primers with previously described sequences. Amplification products were sequenced by Sanger using Big Dye Terminator v3.1 (Applied Biosystems, USA) and capillary electrophoresis on an automatic sequencer ABI PRISM 3130 (Applied Biosystems, USA), followed by using methods for determining the similarity levels of sequenced fragments with the rpoB gene sequences of the reference strain A. baumannii ATCC 17978 (GenBank accession no. CP053098.1). It was found that all strains belonging to atypical A. baumannii spp. had a specific set of features that distinguish them from typical strains of A. baumannii as well as other types of the ACB complex: detected biotransformation of L-tryptophan (via anthranilate pathway) and anthranilic acid under unambiguous lack of such signs in other bacteria; lack of utilized sodium hippurate and L-arabinose being unambiguously evident in other bacteria; lack of utilized L-tryptophan, putrescine, L-ornithine being utilized in the majority of strains of belonging to other bacterial species. Genetic analysis showed that the control strains of typical A. baumannii displayed 99.20–99.21% similarity within the sequenced fragments of the rpoB gene with those from the rpoB gene of the reference strain. All 10 strains of atypical A. baumannii had similar features (99.20–99.21%). At the same time, parameters of control strains from other bacterial species significantly differed: A. nosocomialis (95.10–95.97%), A. pittii (94.63–94.92%), A. calcoaceticus (93.00%). Hence, the strains of atypical and typical A. baumannii are genetically homogeneous and belong to the same species. The data presented allow us to consider this group of atypical A. baumannii strains as a new biovar. We propose the name for this new biovar — tryptophandestruens (tryptophan-destroying) stemming from the Latin word destruens — destroying. Identification of A. baumannii bv. tryptophandestruens bacteria can be carried out in laboratory of any level by using tests for L-tryptophan biotransformation as well as sodium hippurate utilization.

About the authors

E. P. Sivolodskii

Military Medical Academy named after S.M. Kirov; St. Petersburg Pasteur Institute

Email: lykraeva@yandex.ru

PhD, MD (Medicine), Professor of the Department of Microbiology; Senior Researcher, Laboratory of Molecular and Biological Technologies 

St. Petersburg

Russian Federation

L. A. Kraeva

Military Medical Academy named after S.M. Kirov; St. Petersburg Pasteur Institute

Author for correspondence.
Email: lykraeva@yandex.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9115-3250

Lydmila A. Kraeva,  PhD, MD (Medicine), Head of the Laboratory of Medical Bacteriology;  Professor of the Department of Microbiology 

197101, St. Petersburg, Mira str., 14

Phone: +7 (812) 232-94-85. Fax: +7 (812) 498-09-39 

Russian Federation

D. A. Starkova

St. Petersburg Pasteur Institute

Email: lykraeva@yandex.ru

PhD (Biology), Senior Researcher, Laboratory for Identification of Pathogens, Researcher of the Laboratory of Molecular Epidemiology and Evolutionary Genetics 

St. Petersburg

Russian Federation

N. V. Mikhailov

St. Petersburg Pasteur Institute

Email: lykraeva@yandex.ru

PhD (Medicine), Senior Researcher, Department of New Technologies 

St. Petersburg

Russian Federation

G. V. Gorelova

Military Medical Academy named after S.M. Kirov

Email: lykraeva@yandex.ru

Head of the Laboratory of Bacteriology, Central Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory 

St. Petersburg

Russian Federation

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Copyright (c) 2021 Sivolodskii E.P., Kraeva L.A., Starkova D.A., Mikhailov N.V., Gorelova G.V.

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