Drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) is a major health threat in Myanmar. An initial study was conducted to explore the potential utility of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) for the diagnosis and management of drug-resistant TB in Myanmar. Fourteen multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates were sequenced. Known resistance genes for a total of nine antibiotics commonly used in the treatment of drug-susceptible and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) in Myanmar were interrogated through WGS. All 14 isolates were MDR-TB, consistent with the results of phenotypic drug susceptibility testing (DST), and the Beijing lineage predominated. Based on the results of WGS, 9 of the 14 isolates were potentially resistant to at least one of the drugs used in the standard MDR-TB regimen but for which phenotypic DST is not conducted in Myanmar. This study highlights a need for the introduction of second-line DST as part of routine TB diagnosis in Myanmar as well as new classes of TB drugs to construct effective regimens.
Aung, H. L., Tun, T., Moradigaravand, D., Köser, C. U., Nyunt, W. W., Aung, S. T., … Hill, P. C. (2016). Whole-genome sequencing of multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from Myanmar. Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance, 6, 113–117. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jgar.2016.04.008