Evidence for the critical role of a secondary site rpoB mutation in the compensatory evolution and successful transmission of an MDR tuberculosis outbreak strain
2016 (English)In: Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, ISSN 0305-7453, E-ISSN 1460-2091, Vol. 71, no 2, 324-332 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Background MDR Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical strains that cause large outbreaks, particularly among HIV-negative patients, are likely to have undergone the most successful compensatory evolution. Hence, mutations secondary to the acquisition of drug resistance are worthy of consideration in these highly transmissible strains. Here, we assessed the role of a mutation within rpoB, rpoB V615M, secondary to the rifampicin resistance-conferring mutation rpoB S531L, which is associated with a major MDR tuberculosis outbreak strain that evolved in an HIV-negative context in northern Tunisia.
Methods Using BCG as a model organism, we engineered strains harbouring either the rpoB S531L mutation alone or the double mutation rpoB S531L, V615M. Individual and competitive in vitro growth assays were performed in order to assess the relative fitness of each BCG mutant.
Results The rpoB V615M mutation was found to be invariably associated with rpoB S531L. Structural analysis mapped rpoB V615M to the same bridge helix region as rpoB compensatory mutations previously described in Salmonella. Compared with the rpoB single-mutant BCG, the double mutant displayed improved growth characteristics and fitness rates equivalent to WT BCG. Strikingly, the rpoB double mutation conferred high-level resistance to rifampicin.
Conclusions Here, we demonstrated the fitness compensatory role of a mutation within rpoB, secondary to the rifampicin resistance mutation rpoB S531L, which is characteristic of an MDR M. tuberculosis major outbreak strain. The finding that this secondary mutation concomitantly increased the resistance level to rifampicin argues for its significant contribution to the successful transmission of the MDR-TB strain.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 71, no 2, 324-332 p.
M. tuberculosis, rpoB, compensatory evolution
Research subject Microbiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-276455DOI: 10.1093/jac/dkv345ISI: 000372427600007PubMedID: 26538504OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-276455DiVA: diva2:903078
FunderEU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 245 872