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PLoS One. 2013 Dec 11;8(12):e83012. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083012. eCollection 2013.

Elucidating emergence and transmission of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in treatment experienced patients by whole genome sequencing.

Author information

1
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom ; Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.
2
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.
3
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.
4
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom ; Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
5
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
6
Joint Clinical Research Centre, Kampala, Uganda.
7
Joint Clinical Research Centre, Kampala, Uganda ; Department of Medical Microbiology, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda.
8
Mulago Hospital Tuberculosis Clinic, Mulago Hospital, Kampala, Uganda.
9
Department of Pathology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas, United States of America ; Uganda-Case Western Reserve University Research Collaboration, Kampala, Uganda.
10
Department of Medical Microbiology, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda.
11
Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Understanding the emergence and spread of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is crucial for its control. MDR-TB in previously treated patients is generally attributed to the selection of drug resistant mutants during inadequate therapy rather than transmission of a resistant strain. Traditional genotyping methods are not sufficient to distinguish strains in populations with a high burden of tuberculosis and it has previously been difficult to assess the degree of transmission in these settings. We have used whole genome analysis to investigate M. tuberculosis strains isolated from treatment experienced patients with MDR-TB in Uganda over a period of four years.

METHODS AND FINDINGS:

We used high throughput genome sequencing technology to investigate small polymorphisms and large deletions in 51 Mycobacterium tuberculosis samples from 41 treatment-experienced TB patients attending a TB referral and treatment clinic in Kampala. This was a convenience sample representing 69% of MDR-TB cases identified over the four year period. Low polymorphism was observed in longitudinal samples from individual patients (2-15 SNPs). Clusters of samples with less than 50 SNPs variation were examined. Three clusters comprising a total of 8 patients were found with almost identical genetic profiles, including mutations predictive for resistance to rifampicin and isoniazid, suggesting transmission of MDR-TB. Two patients with previous drug susceptible disease were found to have acquired MDR strains, one of which shared its genotype with an isolate from another patient in the cohort.

CONCLUSIONS:

Whole genome sequence analysis identified MDR-TB strains that were shared by more than one patient. The transmission of multidrug-resistant disease in this cohort of retreatment patients emphasises the importance of early detection and need for infection control. Consideration should be given to rapid testing for drug resistance in patients undergoing treatment to monitor the emergence of resistance and permit early intervention to avoid onward transmission.

PMID:
24349420
PMCID:
PMC3859632
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0083012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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