Outer membrane organisation and antimicrobial resistance of Acinetobacter baumannii

Bart Hoogenboom (primary)
London Centre for Nanotechnology
Jeremy Brown (secondary)
Division of Medicine


The outer membrane protects Gram-negative bacteria against the immune systems of plants and animals and excludes many classes of antibiotics. Using advanced microscopy on live and growing Escherichia coli, we have recently discovered that this outer membrane is organised in various domains, the function of which remains unknown. We will determine how this biological/biophysical finding translates to Acinetobacter baumannii, as a much less well characterised bacterium that is of substantial and growing clinical importance. We will determine how the A. baumannii outer membrane is organised and how that organisation relates to bacterial resistance to antibiotics and immune effectors.


1 Rassam, P. et al. Supramolecular assemblies underpin turnover of outer membrane proteins in bacteria. Nature 523, 333–336 (2015).
2 Heesterbeek, D. A. et al. Bacterial killing by complement requires membrane attack complex formation via surface‐bound C5 convertases. EMBO J. 38, e99852 (2019).
3 Benn, G., Pyne, A. L. B., Ryadnov, M. G. & Hoogenboom, B. W. Imaging live bacteria at the nanoscale: comparison of immobilisation strategies. Analyst 144, 6944 (2019).
4 Marshall H, Aguayo S, Kilian M, Petersen F, Bozec L, Brown J. In Vivo Relationship between the Nano-Biomechanical Properties of Streptococcal Polysaccharide Capsules and Virulence Phenotype. ACS Nano. 2020 Jan 28;14(1):1070-1083. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.9b08631. Epub 2020 Jan 8.PMID: 31854972
5 Kamuyu G, Cheng YT, Willcocks S, Kewcharoenwong C, Kiratisin P, Taylor PW, Wren B, Lertmemongkolchai G, Stabler R, Brown J. Sequential vaccination with heterologous Acinetobacter baumannii strains induces broadly reactive antibody responses. (under review Frontiers Immunology 2021).

Plants, microbes, food and sustainability
Area of Biology
Techniques & Approaches
BiophysicsImage ProcessingMicroscopy / Electrophysiology