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Characterization of the dynamics of human cytomegalovirus resistance to antiviral drugs by ultra-deep sequencing

Abstract : Prophylactic or preemptive treatment strategies are required to prevent human cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections in transplant recipients. However, treatment failure occurs when CMV resistant-associated variants (RAVs) are selected. Although the diversity of CMV is lower than that of RNA viruses, CMV appears to show some genetic instability, with possible minor emerging resistance that may be undetectable by Sanger sequencing. We aimed to examine CMV-resistance mutations over time by ultra-deep sequencing (UDS) and Sanger sequencing in a kidney transplant recipient experiencing CMV infection. This patient showed a transient response to three different antiviral drugs (valganciclovir, foscarnet, and maribavir) and four episodes of CMV resistance over two years. The full-length UL97 (2.3kpb) and partial UL54 (2.4kpb) CMV genes were studied by UDS and Sanger sequencing and linkage mutations calculated to determine RAVs. We detected four major and five minor resistance mutations. Minor resistant variants (2-20%) were detected by UDS, whereas major resistance substitutions (>20%) were identified by both UDS and Sanger method. We detected cross-resistance to three drugs, despite high CMV loads, suggesting that the fitness of the viral mutants was not impaired. In conclusion, CMV showed complex dynamic of resistance under antiviral drug pressure, as described for highly variable viruses. The emergence of successive RAVs constitutes a clinically challenging complication and contributes to the difficulty of therapeutic management of patients.
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Submitted on : Thursday, July 21, 2022 - 6:54:40 AM
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Hélène Guermouche, Sonia Burrel, Mélanie Mercier-Darty, Thomas Kofman, Olivier Rogier, et al.. Characterization of the dynamics of human cytomegalovirus resistance to antiviral drugs by ultra-deep sequencing. Antiviral Research, Elsevier Masson, 2020, 173, pp.104647 -. ⟨10.1016/j.antiviral.2019.104647⟩. ⟨hal-03488604⟩



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