Comparative genomic analyses of multi-drug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from Nepal and other geographical locations
journal contributionposted on 08.03.2022, 04:43 by Kelvin LeongKelvin Leong, Sanjay S Gautam, Manoj Pradhan, Y Ibotomba Singh, KC Rajendra, Sagar K Rajbhandari, Gokarna R Ghimire, Krishna Adhikari, Uma Shrestha, Raina Chaudhary, Gyanendra Ghimire, Sundar Khadka, Ronan O'TooleRonan O'Toole
Nepal exhibits a tuberculosis (TB) incidence rate that is comparable to neighbouring high TB incidence countries. In addition, it records >500 cases of multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB each year. The objective of this study was to perform whole-genome bioinformatic analysis on MDR-TB isolates from Nepal (n = 19) to identify the specific mutations underlying their phenotypic resistance. In addition, we examined the dominant genotype among the Nepal MDR-TB isolates, the East-Asian Beijing sub-lineage, to determine its relatedness to a panel of 1274 genomes of international strains available from public databases. These analyses provided evidence that the XDR-TB isolates in our collection were not derived from importation of primary XDR-TB to Nepal but were more likely the result of acquisition of second-line drug resistance in Nepal. Resistance to fluoroquinolones was detected among a high proportion of the Nepal isolates. This has implications for the management of TB, including appropriate antimicrobial stewardship and susceptibility testing for fluoroquinolones and other second-line TB drugs, to minimise the development of XDR-TB among Nepal TB cases.