Acinetobacter baumannii is an emerging nosocomial pathogen, responsible for infection outbreaks worldwide. The pathogenicity of this bacterium is mainly due to its multidrug-resistance and ability to form biofilm on abiotic surfaces, which facilitate long-term persistence in the hospital setting. Given the crucial role of iron in A. baumannii nutrition and pathogenicity, iron metabolism has been considered as a possible target for chelation-based antibacterial chemotherapy. In this study, we investigated the effect of iron restriction on A. baumannii growth and biofilm formation using different iron chelators and culture conditions. We report substantial inter-strain variability and growth medium-dependence for biofilm formation by A. baumannii isolates from veterinary and clinical sources. Neither planktonic nor biofilm growth of A. baumannii was affected by exogenous chelators. Biofilm formation was either stimulated by iron or not responsive to iron in the majority of isolates tested, indicating that iron starvation is not sensed as an overall biofilm-inducing stimulus by A. baumannii. The impressive iron withholding capacity of this bacterium should be taken into account for future development of chelation-based antimicrobial and anti-biofilm therapies.
Gentile, V., Frangipani, E., Bonchi, C., Minandri, F., Runci, F., Visca, P. (2014). Iron and Acinetobacter baumannii Biofilm Formation. PATHOGENS, 3(3), 704-719 [10.3390/pathogens3030704].