1887

Abstract

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global threat, including in sub-Saharan Africa. However, little is known about the genetics of resistant bacteria in the region. In Malawi, there is growing concern about increasing rates of antimicrobial resistance to most empirically used antimicrobials. The highly drug resistant sequence type (ST) 131, which is associated with the extended spectrum β-lactamase , has been increasing in prevalence globally. Previous data from isolates collected between 2006 and 2013 in southern Malawi have revealed the presence of ST131 and the gene in the country. We performed whole genome sequencing (WGS) of 58 clinical isolates at Kamuzu Central Hospital, a tertiary care centre in central Malawi, collected from 2012 to 2018. We used Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) sequencing, which was performed in Malawi. We show that ST131 is observed more often (14.9% increasing to 32.8%) and that the gene is occurring at a higher frequency (21.3% increasing to 44.8%). Phylogenetics indicates that isolates are highly related between the central and southern geographic regions and confirms that ST131 isolates are contained in a single group. All AMR genes, including , were widely distributed across sequence types. We also identified an increased number of ST410 isolates, which in this study tend to carry a plasmid-located copy of gene at a higher frequency than occurs in ST131. This study confirms the expanding nature of ST131 and the wide distribution of the gene in Malawi. We also highlight the feasibility of conducting longitudinal genomic epidemiology studies of important bacteria with the sequencing done on site using a nanopore platform that requires minimal infrastructure.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
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2020-12-09
2021-10-19
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