Lan PT, Golparian D, Ringlander J, Van Hung L, Van Thuong N, Unemo M
J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 75 (6) 1432-1438 [2020-06-01; online 2020-02-19]
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Neisseria gonorrhoeae, compromising gonorrhoea treatment, is a threat to reproductive health globally. South-East and East Asia have been major sources of emergence and subsequent international spread of AMR gonococcal strains during recent decades. We investigated gonococcal isolates from 2011 and 2015-16 in Vietnam using AMR testing, WGS and detection of AMR determinants. Two hundred and twenty-nine gonococcal isolates cultured in 2015-16 (n = 121) and 2011 (n = 108) in Vietnam were examined. AMR testing was performed using Etest and WGS with Illumina MiSeq. Resistance among the 2015-16 isolates was as follows: ciprofloxacin, 100%; tetracycline, 79%; benzylpenicillin, 50%; cefixime, 15%; ceftriaxone, 1%; spectinomycin, 0%; and 5% were non-WT to azithromycin. Eighteen (15%) isolates were MDR. The MIC range for gentamicin was 2-8 mg/L. Among the 2015-16 isolates, 27% (n = 33) contained a mosaic penA allele, while no isolates had a mosaic penA allele in 2011. Phylogenomic analysis revealed introduction after 2011 of two mosaic penA-containing clones (penA-10.001 and penA-34.001), which were related to cefixime-resistant strains spreading in Japan and Europe, and a minor clade (eight isolates) relatively similar to the XDR strain WHO Q. From 2011 to 2015-16, resistance in gonococci from Vietnam increased to all currently and previously used antimicrobials except ceftriaxone, spectinomycin and tetracycline. Two mosaic penA-containing clones were introduced after 2011, explaining the increased cefixime resistance. Significantly increased AMR surveillance, antimicrobial stewardship and use of WGS for molecular epidemiology and AMR prediction for gonococcal isolates in Vietnam and other Asian countries are crucial.