Poster Presentation Australian Society for Microbiology Annual Scientific Meeting 2019

Genomic epidemiology of erythromycin-resistant Bordetella pertussis in China (#221)

Zheng Xu 1 , Zengguo Wang 2 3 , Yang Luan 2 , Yarong Li 3 , Xiaoguai Liu 3 , Xiaokang Peng 3 , Sophie Octavia 1 , Michael Payne 1 , Ruiting Lan 1
  1. The School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  2. Xi’an Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Xi’an, China
  3. No. 3 Department of Infectious Diseases, Xi’an Children’s Hospital, Xi’an, China

Erythromycin is the empirical treatment of Bordetella pertussis infections. China has experienced an increase in erythromycin-resistant B. pertussis isolates since they were first reported in 2013. Here, we undertook a genomic study on Chinese B. pertussis isolates from 2012 to 2015 to elucidate the origins and phylogenetic relationships of erythromycin-resistant B. pertussis isolates in China. A total of 167 Chinese B. pertussis isolates were used for antibiotic sensitivity testing and multiple locus variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) analysis (MLVA). All except four isolates were erythromycin-resistant and of the four erythromycin-sensitive isolates, three were non-ptxP1. MLVA types (MT), MT55, MT104 and MT195 were the predominant types. Fifty of those isolates were used for whole genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. Genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis revealed three independent erythromycin-resistant lineages and all resistant isolates carried a mutation in the 23S rRNA gene. A novel fhaB3 allele was found uniquely in Chinese ptxP1 isolates and these Chinese ptxP1-ptxA1-fhaB3 had a 5-fold higher mutation rate than the global ptxP1-ptxA1 B. pertussis population. Our results suggest that the evolution of Chinese B. pertussis is likely to be driven by selection pressure from both vaccination and antibiotics. The emergence of the new non-vaccine fhaB3 allele in Chinese B. pertussis population may be a result of selection from vaccination, whereas the expansion of ptxP1-fhaB3 lineages was most likely to be the result of selection pressure from antibiotics. Further monitoring of B. pertussis in China is required to better understand the evolution of the pathogen.