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School of MedicineUniversity of Washington • Box 357735 • 1705 NE Pacific St • Seattle WA 98195
  Harwood Lab: Acinetobacter baumanii sRNAs    

A. baumanii is an emerging pathogen that is a serious concern in hospital infections. It has significant intrinsic resistance to antibiotics and can persist in a desiccated state, making treatment of infections problematic. We are working to identify small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) whose expression is associated with clinically-relevant resistance traits of A. baumannii. We will also seek to identify sRNAs that contribute to traits of starvation resistance and desiccation resistance that enable A. baumannii to persist outside the human host, since this is its natural reservoir. sRNAs are expressed in response to specific environmental signals; they are synthesized rapidly and they act quickly to control gene expression at the translational level. Generally, they silence gene expression. sRNAs tend to be expressed under conditions of stress. We hypothesize that sRNAs help A. baumanii to cope with cell envelope and metabolic stresses associated with starvation, antibiotic, biocide and desiccation exposure.

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