Biological Control of Acinetobacter baumannii: In Vitro and In Vivo Activity, Limitations, and Combination Therapies

Benjamin Havenga, Brandon Reyneke, Monique Waso-Reyneke, Thando Ndlovu, Sehaam Khan, Wesaal Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The survival, proliferation, and epidemic spread of Acinetobacter baumannii (A. baumannii) in hospital settings is associated with several characteristics, including resistance to many commercially available antibiotics as well as the expression of multiple virulence mechanisms. This severely limits therapeutic options, with increased mortality and morbidity rates recorded worldwide. The World Health Organisation, thus, recognises A. baumannii as one of the critical pathogens that need to be prioritised for the development of new antibiotics or treatment. The current review will thus provide a brief overview of the antibiotic resistance and virulence mechanisms associated with A. baumannii’s “persist and resist strategy”. Thereafter, the potential of biological control agents including secondary metabolites such as biosurfactants [lipopeptides (surfactin and serrawettin) and glycolipids (rhamnolipid)] as well as predatory bacteria (Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus) and bacteriophages to directly target A. baumannii, will be discussed in terms of their in vitro and in vivo activity. In addition, limitations and corresponding mitigations strategies will be outlined, including curtailing resistance development using combination therapies, product stabilisation, and large-scale (up-scaling) production.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1052
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • Acinetobacter baumannii
  • Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus
  • bacteriophages
  • biological control
  • biosurfactants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Virology


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