The Effect of Dillapiole on Acinetobacter baumannii, a Gram-Negative Opportunistic Pathogen

Katherine E Phillips, Joseph Horzempa


Acinetobacter baumannii is an encapsulated, non-motile, gram-negative bacterium. A. baumannii has become an increasingly important hospital-acquired pathogen, specifically affecting immunocompromised individuals in intensive care units. This bacterium can cause several diseases, including bacteremia, pneumonia, wound infections, and urinary tract infections. A. baumannii has several virulence factors and can acquire antibiotic resistance genes, which have led to multidrug resistant (MDR) strains. Due to the increasing number of MDR A. baumannii strains, the development of new therapeutics is critical. The Horzempa Lab previously discovered that dillapiole, a natural product extracted from fennel, is effective in decreasing virulence factor expression in Francisella tularensis, a gram-negative bacterium. Dillapiole is structurally similar to acyl homoserine lactones (AHLs, a class of quorum-sensing molecules in gram-negative bacteria); quorum sensing is a process that regulates bacterial pathogenesis and biofilm production. The focus of current investigations is to determine if dillapiole decreases biofilm formation and virulence factor expression in A. baumannii.

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