Northwestern Events Calendar


Departmentof Microbiology-Immunolgy: Mario F. Feldman, PhD

When: Tuesday, November 12, 2019
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM  

Where: Simpson Querrey Biomedical Research Center, SQBR Auditorium, 303 E. Superior Street, Chicago, IL 60611 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Dr. Alan Hauser   312.503.1044

Group: Department of Microbiology-Immunology Seminars/Events

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Title: A "Control Freak" Plasmid Governs Type VI Secretion and Virulence in Acinetobacter baumannii

Speaker: Mario F. Feldman, PhD, Washington University School of Medicine/St. Louis

Host: Alan Hauser, MD, PhD


Acinetobacter baumannii (Ab) is a nosocomial pathogen with one of the highest rates of multidrug resistance (MDR). This is partially due to transmissible plasmids. Many Ab strains harbor a constitutively active type VI secretion system (T6SS) that is employed to kill nonkin bacteria. T6SS and plasmid conjugation both involve cell-to-cell contact. Paradoxically, successful conjugation requires the survival of the recipient, which is the target of the T6SS. Thus, an active T6SS in either the donor or the recipient poses a challenge to plasmid conjugation. Here, we show that large conjugative MDR plasmids heavily rely on their distinctive ability to repress the T6SS of their hosts to enable their own dissemination and the conjugation of other plasmids, contributing to the propagation of MDR among Acinetobacter isolates. Furthermore, I wills how that these plasmid confers niche specificity by regulating the expression of multiple chromosomally-encoded virulence factors besides T6SS. Our results demonstrate that plasmids can impact bacterial infections by controlling the expression of chromosomal genes.

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