The Medical Triazole Voriconazole Can Select for Tandem Repeat Variations in Azole-Resistant Aspergillus Fumigatus Harboring TR(34)/L98H Via Asexual Reproduction
SourceJournal of Fungi, 6, 4, (2020), article 277
Article / Letter to editor
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Journal of Fungi
SubjectRadboudumc 4: lnfectious Diseases and Global Health RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 4: lnfectious Diseases and Global Health RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
Azole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus isolates recovered at high frequency from patients, harbor mutations that are associated with variation of promoter length in the cyp51A gene. Following the discovery of the TR(34)/L98H genotype, new variations in tandem repeat (TR) length and number of repeats were identified, as well as additional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the cyp51A gene, indicating that the diversity of resistance mutations in A. fumigatus is likely to continue to increase. Investigating the development routes of TR variants is critical to be able to design preventive interventions. In this study, we tested the potential effects of azole exposure on the selection of TR variations, while allowing haploid A. fumigatus to undergo asexual reproduction. Through experimental evolution involving voriconazole (VOR) exposure, an isolate harboring TR(34)(3)/L98H evolved from a clinical TR(34)/L98H ancestor isolate, confirmed by whole genome sequencing. TR(34)(3)/L98H was associated with increased cyp51A expression and high VOR and posaconazole MICs, although additional acquired SNPs could also have contributed to the highly azole-resistant phenotype. Exposure to medical azoles was found to select for TR(34)(3), thus supporting the possibility of in-host selection of TR(34) variants.
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