The recent rapid expansion of multidrug resistant Ural lineage Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Moldova.

Nature communications, Volume: 15, Issue: 1
April 5, 2024
Melanie H Chitwood MH, Caroline Colijn C, Chongguang Yang C, Valeriu Crudu V, Nelly Ciobanu N, Alexandru Codreanu A, Jaehee Kim J, Isabel Rancu I, Kyu Rhee K, Ted Cohen T, Benjamin Sobkowiak B

The projected trajectory of multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) epidemics depends on the reproductive fitness of circulating strains of MDR M. tuberculosis (Mtb). Previous efforts to characterize the fitness of MDR Mtb have found that Mtb strains of the Beijing sublineage (Lineage 2.2.1) may be more prone to develop resistance and retain fitness in the presence of resistance-conferring mutations than other lineages. Using Mtb genome sequences from all culture-positive cases collected over two years in Moldova, we estimate the fitness of Ural (Lineage 4.2) and Beijing strains, the two lineages in which MDR is concentrated in the country. We estimate that the fitness of MDR Ural strains substantially exceeds that of other susceptible and MDR strains, and we identify several mutations specific to these MDR Ural strains. Our findings suggest that MDR Ural Mtb has been transmitting efficiently in Moldova and poses a substantial risk of spreading further in the region.

Courtesy of the U.S. National Library of Medicine