Variation in Bordetella pertussis Susceptibility to Erythromycin and Virulence-Related Genotype Changes in China (1970-2014).

PloS one

PubMedID: 26406905

Yang Y, Yao K, Ma X, Shi W, Yuan L, Yang Y. Variation in Bordetella pertussis Susceptibility to Erythromycin and Virulence-Related Genotype Changes in China (1970-2014). PLoS ONE. 2015;10(9):e0138941.
OBJECTIVES
To investigate changes in virulence-related genotypes and in the antimicrobial susceptibility of Bordetella pertussis isolates collected from the 1970s to 2014 in the northern part of China.

METHODS
A total of 124 B. pertussis isolates from three periods, the 1970s, 2000-2008, and May 2013-Sept 2014, were typed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and tested for antimicrobial susceptibility and virulence-related genes. A fragment of the 23S rRNA gene from each of the 99 isolates from 2013-2014 was amplified and sequenced.

RESULTS
All isolates from 2000-2008 and 2013-2014 were identified as ST2, whereas isolates from the 1970s were ST1. PtxA2/ptxC1/ptxP1/prn1/fim2-1/fim3-1/tcfA2, which was the same as the vaccine strain, was the only type in the 1970s. During the 2000s and 2013-2014, the virulence type ptxA1/ptxC1/ptxP1/prn1/fim2-1/fim3-1/tcfA2 was dominant, with frequencies of 68.4% and 91.9%, respectively. Nine ptxP3 strains, which were more virulent, were detected after 2000. All 124 isolates were susceptible to levofloxacin, sulphamethoxazole/trimethoprim and tetracycline. The isolates from the 1970s and 2000-2008 were susceptible to all tested macrolides, whereas 91.9% of the 2013-2014 isolates were highly resistant (minimal inhibitory concentration, MIC >256 µg/ml). No ptxP3 strain was resistant to macrolides. All erythromycin-resistant strains except for one had the A2047G mutation in the 23S rRNA gene.

CONCLUSIONS
Macrolide resistance of the B. pertussis population has been a serious problem in the northern part of China. Because most of the epidemic clone of the pathogen expresses the same antigen profiles as the vaccine strain, except ptxA, improvements in immunization strategies may prevent the spread of infection and drug resistance.