Abstract

Acinetobacter baumannii is an opportunistic pathogen causing infections in immunocompromised patients. Recent studies recorded its persistence in a variety of abiotic conditions, but data regarding the biotic interactions with other microorganisms are limited. The aim was to assess the interaction of clinically relevant A. baumannii with common faecal bacteria Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecium. Additionally, the interaction with a bdelloid rotifer Adineta vaga as a potential agent for biological control of A. baumannii was examined. Experiments were conducted in nutrient-poor spring water (SW) and nutrient-rich diluted nutrient broth (DNB) at 22 °C. A. baumannii coexisted with E. coli and E. faecium in both media, suggesting the absence of inter-bacterial competition in long-term survival. No difference in the survival of pandrug-resistant, extensively drug-resistant or antibiotic sensitive isolates of A. baumannii was observed. Rotifers contributed to the removal of all tested bacteria, particularly in SW. Rotifers were able to remove 5.5 ± 1.3 log CFU/mL of A. baumannii in SW and 3.5 ± 1.7 log CFU/mL in DNB. Additionally, no intracellular growth of A. baumannii inside A. vaga was detected. In wastewater treatment plants and drinking water facilities, grazing by rotifers might be useful for the removal of emerging human pathogens such as A. baumannii from water.

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