Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Acinetobacter baumannii, the hospital opportunist

12.01.2004


Acinetobacter baumannii is an opportunistic pathogen operating in hospitals creating serious infections such as pneumonia. It principally affects patients who have weakened health and this is why we call it opportunistic. Moreover, the mortality rate from these infections are usually high given, on the one hand, the weakness of the patient and, on the other, A. baumannii is resistant to many antibiotics. Furthermore, once a specific course of treatment is prescribed for A. Baumannii, the pathogen has a great capacity for acquiring resistance to these antibiotics.



To tackle this problem it is essential to observe, in an ongoing manner, the new resistances the bacteria develops, in order to know what kind of antibiotic has to be used to treat patients. In order to carry out these analyses, the gene for the new acquired resistance has to be identified and isolated and also the presence or otherwise of integrons has to be determined.

Integrons


Integrons are chains of genes wherein many of the resistances acquired by the A. baumannii bacteria are found. The pathogen also has other options for their acquisition but it is the integrons that provide the most efficacious way to acquire and transmit the resistances, given that, apart from acquiring resistances, integrons have great mobility and can transfer from one location of the A. baumannii chromosome to another.

This mobility allows them to pass from one strain of the bacteria to another. This means that all the resistances acquired by a strain of A. baumannii can be transmitted to another and the species can thus modify and regenerate itself continuously. Moreover, as it has a promotoros, the bacteria is always activating or expressing all the resistances held in the integron.

Attempting to improve control

Analysing and isolating a number of A. baumannii strains from hospitals, it has been shown that most have integrons. Thus, it is highly probable that A. baumannii becomes resistant to the best antibiotics that exist today and that this resistance is transmitted via integrons. Moreover, A. baumannii strains have been identified that are resistant to the most common antibiotics used today.

If this is confirmed, the mortality rate due to infections created by the bacteria may even be greater than thought to date, given that there is no antibiotic capable of tackling the infection. It should be taken into account that the number of hospital patients affected by infections caused by A. baumannii is not great, but the gravity of the problem lies in the rate of mortality of these cases.

There currently exist methods to genetically distinguish A. baumannii strains from each other, but the aim at the moment is to obtain a method of indicating the presence of integrons and their resistance in these strains. Of course, this method of detection has to be standardised and, at the same time, practical, for its clinical use.

That is to say, the option of the researchers has been to try to improve control with respect to A. baumannii given that there is currently no substitutes for the antibiotics used to date. In order to achieve this improved control, it is essential to detect the infection in time and know if A. baumannii has produced it. The resistances of the strains must also be known and if they have integrons. Once this detailed information is gathered, new systems for the control of infections can be introduced in order keep down the rate of mortality due to A. baumannii.


Contact :
Garazi Andonegi
ELHUYAR Fundazioa
garazi@elhuyar.com
(+34) 943363040

Garazi Andonegi | Basque research
Further information:
http://www.basqueresearch.com/berria_irakurri.asp?Gelaxka=1_1&Berri_Kod=383&hizk=I
http://www.ehu.es

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

nachricht Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>