The effect of biofilm formation on bacteraemic pneumonia caused by A. baumannii is unknown. We conducted a 4-year multi-center retrospective study to analyze 71 and 202 patients with A. baumannii bacteraemic pneumonia caused by biofilm-forming and non-biofilm-forming isolates, respectively. The clinical features and outcomes of patients were investigated. Biofilm formation was determined by a microtitre plate assay. The antimicrobial susceptibilities of biofilm-associated cells were assessed using the minimum biofilm eradication concentration (MBEC) assay. Whole-genome sequencing was conducted to identify biofilm-associated genes and their promoters. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction was performed to confirm the expression difference of biofilm-associated genes. There was no significant difference in the clinical characteristics or the outcomes between patients infected with biofilm-forming and non-biofilm-forming strains. Compared with non-biofilm-forming isolates, biofilm-forming isolates exhibited lower resistance to most antimicrobials tested, including imipenem, meropenem, ceftazidime, ciprofloxacin and gentamicin; however, the MBEC assay confirmed the increased antibiotic resistance of the biofilm-embedded bacteria. Biofilm-associated genes and their promoters were detected in most isolates, including the non-biofilm-forming strains. Biofilm-forming isolates showed higher levels of expression of the biofilm-associated genes than non-biofilm-forming isolates. The biofilm-forming ability of A. baumannii isolates might not be associated with worse outcomes in patients with bacteraemic pneumonia.
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