Acinetobacter baumannii is a multidrug-resistant pathogen associated with severe infections in hospitalized patients, including pneumonia, urinary and bloodstream infections. Rapid detection of A. baumannii infection is crucial for timely treatment of septicemic patients. The aim of the present study was to develop a specific marker for a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for the detection of A. baumannii. The target gene chosen is the biofilm-associated protein (bap) gene, encoding a cell surface protein involved in biofilm formation. The assay is specific for A. baumannii, allowing its discrimination from different species of Acinetobacter and other clinically relevant bacterial pathogens. The assay is able to detect one genomic copy of A. baumannii, corresponding to 4 fg of purified DNA, and 20 colony-forming units/ml using DNA extracted from spiked whole blood samples.
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