Background: Resistance to multiple drugs is one of the biggest challenges in managing infectious diseases. Acinetobacter baumannii is considered a nosocomial infection. According to the multiple roles of the toxin-antitoxin system, this system can be considered an antimicrobial target in the presence of bacteria. With the impact on bacterial toxin, it can be used as a new antibacterial target. The purpose of this study was to determine the mazEF genes as a potent antimicrobial target in A. baumannii clinical isolates.
Methods: The functionality of mazEF genes was evaluated by qPCR in fifteen A. baumannii clinical isolates. Then, the mazE locus was targeted by peptide nucleic acid (PNA).
Results: The results showed a significant difference in the mean number of copies of mazF gene in normal and stress conditions. Also, we found that at a concentration of 15 µM of PNA the bacteria were killed and confirmed by culture on LB agar.
Conclusions: This research is the first step in introducing mazEF TA loci as a sensitive target in A. baumannii. However, more studies are needed to test the effectiveness in vivo. In addition, the occurrence and potential for activation of the TA system, mazEF in other pathogenic bacteria should be further investigated.