BACKGROUND: Kazakhstan has a high burden of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in the Central Asian region. This study aimed to perform genomic characterization of Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains obtained from Kazakhstani patients with pre-extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis diagnosed in Kazakhstan.
METHODS: Whole-genome sequencing was performed on 10 pre-extensively drug-resistant M. tuberculosis strains from different regions of Kazakhstan. All strains had high-confidence resistance mutations according to the resistance grading system previously established by the World Health Organization. The genome analysis was performed using TB-Profiler, Mykrobe, CASTB, and ResFinder.
RESULTS: Valuable information for understanding the genetic diversity of tuberculosis in Kazakhstan can also be obtained from whole-genome sequencing. The results from the Phenotypic Drug Susceptibility Testing (DST) of bacterial strains were found to be consistent with the drug resistance information obtained from genomic data that characterized all isolates as pre-XDR. This information can help in developing targeted prevention and control strategies based on the local epidemiology of tuberculosis. Furthermore, the data obtained from whole-genome sequencing can help in tracing the transmission pathways of tuberculosis and facilitating early detection of outbreaks.
CONCLUSIONS: The results from whole-genome sequencing of tuberculosis clinical samples in Kazakhstan provide important insights into the drug resistance patterns and genetic diversity of tuberculosis in the country. These results can contribute to the improvement of tuberculosis control and management programs in Kazakhstan.