Within the last 15 years, members of the bacterial genus Acinetobacter have risen from relative obscurity to be among the most important sources of hospital-acquired infections. The driving force for this has been the remarkable ability of these organisms to acquire antibiotic resistance determinants, with some strains now showing resistance to every antibiotic in clinical use. There is an urgent need for new antibacterial compounds to combat the threat imposed by Acinetobacter spp. and other intractable bacterial pathogens. The essential processes of chromosomal DNA replication, transcription, and cell division are attractive targets for the rational design of antimicrobial drugs. The goal of this review is to examine the wealth of genome sequence and gene knockout data now available for Acinetobacter spp., highlighting those aspects of essential systems that are most suitable as drug targets. Acinetobacter spp. show several key differences from other pathogenic gammaproteobacteria, particularly in global stress response pathways. The involvement of these pathways in short-and long-term antibiotic survival suggests that Acinetobacter spp. cope with antibiotic-induced stress differently from other microorganisms.