Genome sequence analysis of an extensively drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii indigo-pigmented strain depicts evidence of increase genome plasticity

Acinetobacter baumannii is a multidrug resistant nosocomial pathogen that shows an outstanding ability to undergo genetic exchange, thereby acquiring different traits that contribute to its success. In this work, we identified genetic features of an indigo-pigmented A. baumannii strain (Ab33405) that belongs to the clonal complex CC113B/CC79P. Ab33405 possesses a high number of genes coding for antibiotic resistance and virulence factors that may contribute to its survival, not only in the human host, but also in the hospital environment. Thirteen genes conferring resistance to different antibiotic families (trimethoprim, florfenicol, β-lactams, aminoglycosides and sulfonamide) as well as the adeIJK genes and the capsule locus (KL) and outer core locus (OCL) were identified. Ab33405 includes 250 unique genes and a significant number of elements associated with Horizontal Gene Transfer, such as insertion sequences and transposons, genomic islands and prophage sequences. Also, the indigo-pigmented uncommon phenotype that could be associated with the monooxygenase or dioxygenase enzyme coded for by the iacA gene within the iac cluster was probably conferred by insertion of a 18-kb DNA fragment into the iacG gene belonging to this cluster. The Ab33405 genome includes all type VI secretion system genes and killing assays showed the ability of Ab33045 to kill Escherichia coli. In addition, Ab33405 can modulate susceptibility antibiotics when exposed to blue light.