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Development and Characterization of an Unmarked hemO Cluster Knockout in Hypervirulent Acinetobacter Baumannii LAC-4

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Technical Report

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California State University - Los Angeles Los Angeles United States

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Acinetobacter baumannii is an emerging Gram negative pathogen that has been a major contributor to the significant increases in multi-drug resistant MDR nosocomial infections worldwide. This bacterium has been known to rapidly acquire mobile genetic elements, facilitating the emergence of MDR and pan-resistant strains. With the emergence of strains greatly increasing in resistance, treatment with conventional antibiotics has become limited. Furthermore, the development of new antibiotics has not caught up with the spread of antibiotic resistance, and the pharmaceutical antibiotic drug development pipeline is scarce. While antibiotic resistance poses great risk to human health, it also contributes to a significant barrier and burden in studying MDR organisms. In MDR A. baumanni for instance, the mechanisms of resistance are well understood, but the determinants of virulence are poorly understood. Yet scientists are limited in the molecular tools they can use to study A. baumannii due to its resistance to common antibiotic selective markers. One factor of virulence that has become a growing field of study in the past two decades is the role of iron metabolism in virulence. Iron is an important nutrient for all forms of life, and a necessity for growth and replication.

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