The genus Acinetobacter
is a group of Gram-negative, non-motile and non-fermentative bacteria belonging to the family Moraxellaceae
. They are important soil organisms where they contribute to the mineralisation of, for example, aromatic compounds. Acinetobacter
are able to survive on various surfaces (both moist and dry) in the hospital environment, thereby being an important source of infection in debilitated patients. These bacteria are innately resistant to many classes of antibiotics. In addition, Acinetobacter
is uniquely suited to exploitation for biotechnological purposes.
The genus Acinetobacter
has emerged to be in the focus of scientists, both in light of fundamental biological questions and in light of its pathogenic potential. Several species persist in hospital environments and cause severe, life-threatening infections in compromised patients, sadly underlined by severe cases of Acinetobacter
infections in soldiers returning from Iraq. The spectrum of antibiotic resistances of these organisms together with their survival capabilities make them a threat to hospitals as documented by recurring outbreaks both in highly developed countries and elsewhere.
An important factor for their pathogenic potential is probably an efficient means of horizontal gene transfer, even though such a mechanism has so far only been observed and analyzed in Acinetobacter baylyi
, a species that lives in the soil and has never been associated with infections. The capability of this organism to incorporate linear DNA into its own chromosome is among the most efficient transformation processes known and makes it an ideal model organism highly amenable for genetic manipulation. Being true soil bacteria, members of the genus thrive on substrates typically found in soil, such as organic acids or aromatic compounds.
- Acinetobacter Molecular Biology
- Microbiology books
Labels: acinetobacter, brief notes, soil microbiology
Writing in the journal International Microbiology, Mercedes Berlanga of the University of Barcelona, Spain, describes a new book on Acinetobacter
published by Caister Academic Press
as a "useful book ... especially recommended for advanced students in the field, senior researchers, and physicians". She continues to suggest that "all microbiologists will find in the book an exceptional opportunity to extend their understanding of an unusual and unique microbial group."
have also heaped praise on this book, edited by Ulrike Gerischer of the University of Ulm, Germany. It is pleasing that a major new review of Acetinobacter research has been received in such a positive manner by the scientific community. This book will be a major resource for many years to come.
For full details of this book please visit Acinetobacter Molecular Biology
Labels: acinetobacter, bacteriology, bacterium, book review, nosocomial