ABSTRACT: Quinolone-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae (QRNG) arise from mutations in gyrA (intermediate resistance) or gyrA and parC (resistance). Here we tested the consequence of commonly isolated gyrA(91/95) and parC86 mutations on gonococcal fitness.
Mutant gyrA(91/95) and parC86 alleles were introduced into wild-type gonococci or an isogenic mutant that is resistant to macrolides due to an mtrR(-79) mutation. Wild-type and mutant bacteria were compared for growth in vitro and in competitive murine infection.
In vitro growth was reduced with increasing numbers of mutations. Interestingly, the gyrA(91/95) mutation conferred an in vivo fitness benefit to wild-type and mtrR(-79) mutant gonococci. The gyrA(91/95), parC86 mutant, in contrast, showed a slight fitness defect in vivo, and the gyrA(91/95), parC86, mtrR(-79) mutant was markedly less fit relative to the parent strains. A ciprofloxacin-resistant (Cip(R)) mutant was selected during infection with the gyrA(91/95), parC86, mtrR(-79) mutant in which the mtrR(-79) mutation was repaired and the gyrA(91) mutation was altered. This in vivo-selected mutant grew as well as the wild-type strain in vitro.
gyrA(91/95) mutations may contribute to the spread of QRNG. Further acquisition of a parC86 mutation abrogates this fitness advantage; however, compensatory mutations can occur that restore in vivo fitness and maintain Cip(R).
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 04/2012; 205(12):1821-9. · 6.41 Impact Factor