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Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2019.00310

Involvement of HisF in the persistence of Acinetobacter baumannii during a pneumonia infection

Marta Martínez-Guitián1,  Juan C. Vázquez-Ucha1, Laura Álvarez-Fraga1, Kelly Conde-Pérez1,  Juan A. Vallejo1,  Germán Bou1,  Margarita Poza1* and  Alejandro Beceiro1
  • 1Institute of Biomedical Research of A Coruña (INIBIC), Spain

Acinetobacter baumannii is currently considered one of the most problematic nosocomial microorganisms. In the present work the hisF gene from the ATCC 17978 strain and the AbH12O-A2 clinical isolate of A. baumannii was found over-expressed during the course of murine pneumonia infections. The study demonstrated that the A. baumannii ATCC 17978 mutant strain lacking the hisF gene induces a sub-lethal pneumonia infection in mice, while the complemented mutant strain increased its virulence. This histidine auxotroph mutant showed an increase on IL-6 secretion and leukocytes recruitment during infections. Furthermore, data revealed that the hisF gene, implicated in the innate immunity and inflammation, is involved in virulence during a pneumonia infection, which may partly explain the ability of this strain to persist in the lung. We suggest that HisF, essential for full virulence in this pathogen, should be considered a potential target for developing new antimicrobial therapies against A. baumannii.

Keywords: HisF, mice pneumonia model, lung infection, Acinetobacter baumannii, Virulence

Received: 05 Jun 2019; Accepted: 15 Aug 2019.

Edited by:

D Scott Merrell, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Uniformed Services University, United States

Reviewed by:

Eric P. Skaar, Vanderbilt University, United States
Luis R. Martinez, The University of Texas at El Paso, United States  

Copyright: © 2019 Martínez-Guitián, Vázquez-Ucha, Álvarez-Fraga, Conde-Pérez, Vallejo, Bou, Poza and Beceiro. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Margarita Poza, Institute of Biomedical Research of A Coruña (INIBIC), A Coruá, 15006, Spain, margarita.poza.dominguez@sergas.es