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Comparative genomics for the elucidation of multidrug resistance in Candida lusitaniae

Kannan, Abhilash, Asner, Sandra A., Trachsel, Emilie, Kelly, Steve, Parker, Josie, Sanglard, Dominique and Heitman, Joseph 2019. Comparative genomics for the elucidation of multidrug resistance in Candida lusitaniae. mBio 10 (6) , e02512-19. 10.1128/mBio.02512-19

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Multidrug resistance (MDR) has emerged in hospitals due to the use of several agents administered in combination or sequentially to the same individual. We reported earlier MDR in Candida lusitaniae during therapy with amphotericin B (AmB), azoles, and candins. Here, we used comparative genomic approaches between the initial susceptible isolate and 4 other isolates with different MDR profiles. From a total of 18 nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (NSS) in genome comparisons with the initial isolate, six could be associated with MDR. One of the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) occurred in a putative transcriptional activator (MRR1) resulting in a V668G substitution in isolates resistant to azoles and 5-fluorocytosine (5-FC). We demonstrated by genome editing that MRR1 acted by upregulation of MFS7 (a multidrug transporter) in the presence of the V668G substitution. MFS7 itself mediated not only azole resistance but also 5-FC resistance, which represents a novel resistance mechanism for this drug class. Three other distinct NSS occurred in FKS1 (a glucan synthase gene that is targeted by candins) in three candin-resistant isolates. Last, two other NSS in ERG3 and ERG4 (ergosterol biosynthesis) resulting in nonsense mutations were revealed in AmB-resistant isolates, one of which accumulated the two ERG NSS. AmB-resistant isolates lacked ergosterol and exhibited sterol profiles, consistent with ERG3 and ERG4 defects. In conclusion, this genome analysis combined with genetics and metabolomics helped decipher the resistance profiles identified in this clinical case. MDR isolates accumulated six different mutations conferring resistance to all antifungal agents used in medicine. This case study illustrates the capacity of C. lusitaniae to rapidly adapt under drug pressure within the host.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
ISSN: 2161-2129
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 July 2022
Date of Acceptance: 31 October 2019
Last Modified: 25 May 2023 23:10

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