• Antiviral susceptibility profile of influenza A viruses; keep an eye on immunocompromised patients under prolonged treatment.

      Kossyvakis, A; Mentis, A-F A; Tryfinopoulou, K; Pogka, V; Kalliaropoulos, A; Antalis, E; Lytras, T; Meijer, A; Tsiodras, S; Karakitsos, P; et al. (2017-02)
      There was an increase in severe and fatal influenza cases in Greece during the 2011-2015 post-pandemic period. To investigate causality, we determined neuraminidase (NA) inhibitor susceptibility and resistance-conferring NA and hemagglutinin (HA) mutations in circulating influenza type A viruses during the pandemic (2009-2010) and post-pandemic periods in Greece. One hundred thirty-four influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and 95 influenza A(H3N2) viruses submitted to the National Influenza Reference Laboratory of Southern Greece were tested for susceptibility to oseltamivir and zanamivir. Antiviral resistance was assessed by neuraminidase sequence analysis, as well as the fluorescence-based 50 % inhibitory concentration (IC50) method. Five influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses (2.2 %) showed significantly reduced inhibition by oseltamivir (average IC50 300.60nM vs. 1.19nM) by Gaussian kernel density plot analysis. These viruses were isolated from immunocompromised patients and harbored the H275Y oseltamivir resistance-conferring NA substitution. All A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses were zanamivir-susceptible, and all A(H3N2) viruses were susceptible to both drugs. Oseltamivir-resistant viruses did not form a distinct cluster by phylogenetic analysis. Permissive mutations were detected in immunogenic and non immunogenic NA regions of both oseltamivir- resistant and susceptible viruses in the post-pandemic seasons. Several amino acid substitutions in the HA1 domain of the HA gene of post-pandemic viruses were identified. This study indicated low resistance to NAIs among tested influenza viruses. Antiviral resistance emerged only in immunocompromised patients under long-term oseltamivir treatment. Sequential sample testing in this vulnerable group of patients is recommended to characterise resistance or reinfection and viral evolution.
    • Association between genotype and drug resistance profiles of Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains circulating in China in a national drug resistance survey.

      Zhou, Yang; van den Hof, Susan; Wang, Shengfen; Pang, Yu; Zhao, Bing; Xia, Hui; Anthony, Richard; Ou, Xichao; Li, Qiang; Zheng, Yang; et al. (2017)
      We describe the population structure of a representative collection of 3,133 Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates, collected within the framework of a national resistance survey from 2007 in China. Genotyping data indicate that the epidemic strains in China can be divided into seven major complexes, of which 92% belonged to the East Asian (mainly Beijing strains) or the Euro-American lineage. The epidemic Beijing strains in China are closely related to the Beijing B0/W148 strain earlier described in Russia and a large cluster of these strains has spread national wide. The density of Beijing strains is high in the whole of China (average 70%), but the highest prevalence was found North of the Yellow river. The Euro-American lineage consists of three sublineages (sublineage_1, 2, and 3) and is more prevalent in the South. Beijing lineage showed the highest cluster rate of 48% and a significantly higher level of resistance to rifampicin (14%, p<0.001), ethambutol (9%, p = 0.001), and ofloxacin (5%, p = 0.011). Within the Euro-American Lineage, sublineage_3 revealed the highest cluster rate (28%) and presented a significantly elevated level of resistance to streptomycin (44%, p<0.001). Our findings suggest that standardised treatment in this region may have contributed to the successful spread of certain strains: sublineage_3 in the Euro-American lineage may have thrived when streptomycin was used without rifampicin for treatment, while later under DOTS based treatment, in which rifampicin plays a key role, Beijing lineage appears to be spreading.
    • Pyrazinamide resistance-conferring mutations in pncA and the transmission of multidrug resistant TB in Georgia.

      Sengstake, Sarah; Bergval, Indra L; Schuitema, Anja R; de Beer, Jessica L; Phelan, Jody; de Zwaan, Rina; Clark, Taane G; van Soolingen, Dick; Anthony, Richard M (2017-07-12)
      The ongoing epidemic of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in Georgia highlights the need for more effective control strategies. A new regimen to treat MDR-TB that includes pyrazinamide (PZA) is currently being evaluated and PZA resistance status will largely influence the success of current and future treatment strategies. PZA susceptibility testing was not routinely performed at the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) in Tbilisi between 2010 and September 2015. We here provide a first insight into the prevalence of PZA resistant TB in this region.