Distribution of common and rare genetic markers of second-line-injectable-drug resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis revealed by a genome-wide association study

Derek Conkle-Gutierrez, Calvin Kim, Sarah M Ramirez-Busby, Samuel J Modlin, Mikael Mansjö, Jim Werngren, Leen Rigouts, Sven E Hoffner, Faramarz Valafar

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Point mutations in the rrs gene and the eis promoter are known to confer resistance to the second-line injectable drugs (SLIDs) amikacin (AMK), capreomycin (CAP), and kanamycin (KAN). While mutations in these canonical genes confer the majority of SLID resistance, alternative mechanisms of resistance are not uncommon and threaten effective treatment decisions when using conventional molecular diagnostics. In total, 1,184 clinical Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from 7 countries were studied for genomic markers associated with phenotypic resistance. The markers rrs:A1401G and rrs:G1484T were associated with resistance to all three SLIDs, and three known markers in the eis promoter (eis:G-10A, eis:C-12T, and eis:C-14T) were similarly associated with kanamycin resistance (KAN-R). Among 325, 324, and 270 AMK-R, CAP-R, and KAN-R isolates, 274 (84.3%), 250 (77.2%), and 249 (92.3%) harbored canonical mutations, respectively. Thirteen isolates harbored more than one canonical mutation. Canonical mutations did not account for 103 of the phenotypically resistant isolates. A genome-wide association study identified three genes and promoters with mutations that, on aggregate, were associated with unexplained resistance to at least one SLID. Our analysis associated whiB7 5'-untranslated-region mutations with KAN resistance, supporting clinical relevance for this previously demonstrated mechanism of KAN resistance. We also provide evidence for the novel association of CAP resistance with the promoter of the Rv2680-Rv2681 operon, which encodes an exoribonuclease that may influence the binding of CAP to the ribosome. Aggregating mutations by gene can provide additional insight and therefore is recommended for identifying rare mechanisms of resistance when individual mutations carry insufficient statistical power.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0207521
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number6
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Amikacin/pharmacology
  • Antitubercular Agents/pharmacology
  • Capreomycin/pharmacology
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial/genetics
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Kanamycin/pharmacology
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Mutation
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis/drug effects

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