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Insights into the Evolution of P. aeruginosa Antimicrobial Resistance in a Patient Undergoing Intensive Therapy
journal contributionposted on 2023-04-03, 05:34 authored by Kwee Chin Liew, Jessica O’Keeffe, Heera Rajandas, Yin Peng Lee, Owen Harris, Sivachandran Parimannan, Larry CroftLarry Croft, Eugene AthanEugene Athan
Whole genome sequencing (WGS) provides insights into the evolution of antimicrobial resistance, an urgent global health threat. Using WGS, we observe evolutionary adaptation of a Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain within an immunocompromised patient undergoing antibiotic therapy. Two blood isolates (EA-86 and EA-87) from the patient evolved separate adaptations for antibiotic resistance, while sharing common adaptive mutations for host immune evasion. In EA-86, a silencing mutation in the antibiotic efflux pump repressor, NfxB, increased antibiotic resistance, while in EA-87, a similar mutation was seen in the antibiotic efflux pump repressor mexR. The number of genomic variants between the two isolates give a divergence time estimate of the order of 1000 generations. This time is sufficient for a bacterial lineage to have evolved an SNP in every position in the genome and been fixed if advantageous. This demonstrates the evolutionary adaptive power accessible to bacteria and the timescale for a brute-force functional survey of the SNP fitness landscape.