Acinetobacter baumannii is a well-adapted hospital pathogen and recent data from the National Nosocomial Surveillance System (NNIS) showed a substantial increase in the number of cases of A. baumannii-associated nosocomial (hospital acquired) pneumonia, causing 5 – 10% of intensive care unit (ICU)-acquired pneumonia cases in the United States. Moreover, A. baumannii ranks 10th among the most frequent organisms (1.3%) causing monomicrobial nosocomial bloodstream infections in the US and 2 – 10% of nosocomial infections in intensive care units in European hospitals.
The current knowledge concerning the physiological basis of A. baumannii virulence traits is rather limited. The persistence of A. baumannii is attributed to multiple factors but, unfortunately, knowledge regarding the molecular basis for these traits of A. baumannii, i.e. proteins, enzymes and genes involved as well as their regulation by abiotic and biotic factors is largely unknown. The recent rapid development of analytical and bioinformatic tools, genetic and biochemical technologies, structural analysis, cell culture and animal infection models led the German Research Foundation in 2014 to establish a Research Unit (FOR2251) to combine efforts to study the molecular basis of adaptation and persistence of this emerging pathogen. The first international conference on “Acinetobacter baumannii: adaptation and persistence of an emerging pathogen” brings together world-leading experts, postdocs and students to present and discuss latest developments in a highly dynamic field. We encourage you to join us for this conference dedicated only to A. baumannii. Poster presentations are highly welcome!
Volker Müller and Volkhard Kempf