Current trend of an epidemic MDR-Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain unveiled by an allele-specific multiplex PCR
Abstract. The so-called Rb strain has long been the third most prevalent multidrug-resistant (MDR) Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) strain in Argentina, following the M and Ra strains. As we did with these latter two, we now developed a multiplex PCR targeting Rb-specific SNPs identified by WGS. It was applied to identify new MDR-TB cases caused by the Rb strain in 2018-2019. Herein we found that the current incidence of Rb-associated MDR-tuberculosis increased compared to the data from the previous decade. In contrast with M and Ra strains, Rb is geographically widespread within the country. This strain still prevails in HIV-infected transgender sex workers, its most conspicuous target population. This new strain-specific multiplex PCR enhanced our toolkit for the rapid and low-cost surveillance of conspicuous MDR-Mtb strains.
Authors. Noemí Yokobori(a, b, c), Laura Pérez-Lago(a, d), Roxana Paul(b), Romina Grossich(b), Ingrid Weinmeyer(b), Norberto Símboli(b), Beatriz López(b), Viviana Ritacco(b,c,e), Darío García De Viedma(d, e, f)
(a)These authors contributed equally to this work as firts authors. (b)Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Infecciosas ANLIS, Buenos Aires, Argentina. (c)Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Buenos Aires, Argentina. (d)Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain. (e)CIBER Enfermedades Respiratorias, CIBERES, Madrid, Spain. (f)These authors contributed equally to this work as senior authors