Genome-scale metabolic model of Acinetobacter baumannii

Yufan Xia reconstructed and validated a genome-scale model of strain ATCC 17978

Acinetobacter baumannii is a Gram-negative, strictly aerobic bacterium and can also be an opportunistic pathogen in humans. Since its discovery, it has caused severe infections, notably in health care facilities. It also has garnered tremendous attention because of its interaction with SARS-CoV-2, which produces drastic consequences in intensive care units. Because of the increasing antibiotic resistance and high mortality of A. baumannii, it has been classified as an urgent threat by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since 2019. Yufan Xia created a highly standardized and well-annotated genome-scale metabolic model (GEM) of A. baumannii ATCC 17978 in her bachelor thesis. This model aims to help to identify which genes are required for its virulence factors. She analyzed the model and verified it against presently available experimental data of existent gene tests and sole carbon and nitrogen source tests. With this model, its interaction with other bacteria and its response to drugs can efficiently be simulated in silico. The model also gives insights into various metabolic processes in A. baumannii ATCC 17978.