Emergence of multiple fluconazole-resistant Candida parapsilosis sensu stricto clones with persistence and transmission in China

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2024 Jan 3;79(1):128-133. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkad356.

Abstract

Objectives: We explored the epidemiological and molecular characteristics of Candida parapsilosis sensu stricto isolates in China, and their mechanisms of azole resistance.

Methods: Azole susceptibilities of 2318 non-duplicate isolates were determined using CLSI broth microdilution. Isolates were genotyped by a microsatellite typing method. Molecular resistance mechanisms were also studied and functionally validated by CRISPR/Cas9-based genetic alterations.

Results: Fluconazole resistance occurred in 2.4% (n = 56) of isolates, and these isolates showed a higher frequency of distribution in ICU inpatients compared with susceptible isolates (48.2%, n = 27/56 versus 27.8%, 613/2208; P = 0.019). Microsatellite-genotyping analysis yielded 29 genotypes among 56 fluconazole-resistant isolates, of which 10 genotypes, including 37 isolates, belonged to clusters, persisting and transmitting in Chinese hospitals for 1-29 months. Clusters harbouring Erg11Y132F (5/10; 50%) were predominant in China. Among these, the second most dominant cluster MT07, including seven isolates, characteristically harbouring Erg11Y132F and Mrr1Q625K, lent its carriage to being one of the strongest associations with cross-resistance and high MICs of fluconazole (>256 mg/L) and voriconazole (2-8 mg/L), causing transmission across two hospitals. Among mutations tested, Mrr1Q625K led to the highest-level increase of fluconazole MIC (32-fold), while mutations located within or near the predicted transcription factor domain of Tac1 (D440Y, T492M and L518F) conferred cross-resistance to azoles.

Conclusions: This study is the first Chinese report of persistence and transmissions of multiple fluconazole-resistant C. parapsilosis sensu stricto clones harbouring Erg11Y132F, and the first demonstration of the mutations Erg11G307A, Mrr1Q625K, Tac1L263S, Tac1D440Y and Tac1T492M as conferring resistance to azoles.

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Azoles / pharmacology
  • Candida parapsilosis* / genetics
  • China / epidemiology
  • Drug Resistance, Fungal / genetics
  • Fluconazole* / pharmacology
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests

Substances

  • Fluconazole
  • Antifungal Agents
  • Azoles