Evaluation of the Trimeric Autotransporter Ata, as a Vaccine Candidate Against Acinetobacter baumannii Infections.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Infection and immunity (2012)


Acinetobacter baumannii is a multidrug resistant (MDR) nosocomial pathogen for which immunotherapeutic alternatives are needed. We previously identified a surface autotransporter of A. baumannii, Ata, that bound to various extracellular matrix/basal membrane proteins and was required for full virulence, biofilm formation and the adhesion of A. baumannii to collagen type IV. Here we show that Ata binding to collagen type IV was inhibited with antibodies to Ata. Additionally, in the presence of complement and polymorphonuclear cells (PMNs), antibodies to Ata were highly opsonic against A. baumannii ATCC 17978 and showed low to moderate killing activity against four heterologous A. baumannii strains whereas in the absence of PMNs, antibody to Ata efficiently promoted complement-dependent bactericidal killing of all of the tested A. baumannii isolates. Using a pneumonia model of infection in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised mice, as compared to normal rabbit sera, antisera to Ata significantly reduced levels of A. baumannii ATCC 17978 and two MDR strains in the lungs of infected mice. The ability of Ata to engender anti-adhesive, bactericidal, opsonophagocytic and protective antibodies validates its potential use as an antigenic target against MDR A. baumannii infections.