Mutations in fbiD ( Rv2983) as a Novel Determinant of Resistance to Pretomanid and Delamanid in Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2020 Dec 16;65(1):e01948-20. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01948-20. Print 2020 Dec 16.


The nitroimidazole prodrugs delamanid and pretomanid comprise one of only two new antimicrobial classes approved to treat tuberculosis (TB) in 50 years. Prior in vitro studies suggest a relatively low barrier to nitroimidazole resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, but clinical evidence is limited to date. We selected pretomanid-resistant M. tuberculosis mutants in two mouse models of TB using a range of pretomanid doses. The frequency of spontaneous resistance was approximately 10-5 CFU. Whole-genome sequencing of 161 resistant isolates from 47 mice revealed 99 unique mutations, of which 91% occurred in 1 of 5 genes previously associated with nitroimidazole activation and resistance, namely, fbiC (56%), fbiA (15%), ddn (12%), fgd (4%), and fbiB (4%). Nearly all mutations were unique to a single mouse and not previously identified. The remaining 9% of resistant mutants harbored mutations in Rv2983 (fbiD), a gene not previously associated with nitroimidazole resistance but recently shown to be a guanylyltransferase necessary for cofactor F420 synthesis. Most mutants exhibited high-level resistance to pretomanid and delamanid, although Rv2983 and fbiB mutants exhibited high-level pretomanid resistance but relatively small changes in delamanid susceptibility. Complementing an Rv2983 mutant with wild-type Rv2983 restored susceptibility to pretomanid and delamanid. By quantifying intracellular F420 and its precursor Fo in overexpressing and loss-of-function mutants, we provide further evidence that Rv2983 is necessary for F420 biosynthesis. Finally, Rv2983 mutants and other F420H2-deficient mutants displayed hypersusceptibility to some antibiotics and to concentrations of malachite green found in solid media used to isolate and propagate mycobacteria from clinical samples.

Keywords: cofactor F420; mouse model; nitroimidazole; resistance; tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antitubercular Agents / pharmacology
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Mice
  • Mutation
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis* / genetics
  • Nitroimidazoles* / pharmacology
  • Oxazoles


  • Antitubercular Agents
  • Nitroimidazoles
  • OPC-67683
  • Oxazoles
  • pretomanid