Constitutive Phenotypic Modification of Lipid A in Clinical Acinetobacter baumannii Isolates

Su Hyun Kim, Sohyeon Yun, Woojun Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The degree of polymyxin B (PMB) resistance was measured in 40 clinical Acinetobacter baumannii isolates obtained from health care facilities. All of the tested isolates possessed a multidrug-resistant (MDR) phenotype against four classes of antibiotics (meropenem, doxycycline, gentamicin, and erythromycin), except for PMB. The blaOXA-23 gene was detected throughout the genetic analysis and experimental assay, indicating that all of the MDR strains were carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii strains. Multilocus sequence typing-based genotyping revealed that nine selected strains belonged to the international clone II lineage. When matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization–time of flight mass spectrometry was performed, intrinsic lipid A modification by phosphoethanolamine (PEtN) incorporation was noticeable only in the PMB-resistant (PMBR) strains. However, the presence of hexa- and penta-acylated lipid A due to the loss of the laurate (C12) acyl chain was noted in all PMB-susceptible strains but not in the PMBR strains. The reduction of negative surface charges in the PMBR strains was assessed by zeta potential analysis. Fluorescence imaging using dansyl-PMB revealed that, in the PMBR strains, PMB was less likely to bind to the cell surface.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMicrobiology spectrum
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Aug


  • carbapenem-resistance
  • Gram-negative bacteria
  • lipopolysaccharide
  • phosphoethanolamine
  • pmrC
  • polymyxin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Ecology
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology
  • Infectious Diseases


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