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Volume 8, Number 11—November 2002

Volume 8, Number 11—November 2002   PDF Version [PDF - 23.47 MB - 186 pages]

Tuberculosis Genotyping

Tuberculosis Genotyping Network, United States

  • The Continued Threat of Tuberculosis PDF Version [PDF - 158 KB - 1 page]
    T. Navin et al.
  • Rationale and Methods for the National Tuberculosis Genotyping and Surveillance Network PDF Version [PDF - 437 KB - 4 pages]
    K. G. Castro and H. W. Jaffe
       View Abstract

    Our understanding of tuberculosis (TB) transmission dynamics has been refined by genotyping of Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains. The National Tuberculosis Genotyping and Surveillance Network was designed and implemented to systematically evaluate the role of genotyping technology in improving TB prevention and control activities. Genotyping proved a useful adjunct to investigations of outbreaks, unusual clusters, and laboratory cross-contamination.

  • National Tuberculosis Genotyping and Surveillance Network: Design and Methods PDF Version [PDF - 268 KB - 5 pages]
    J. T. Crawford et al.
       View Abstract

    The National Tuberculosis Genotyping and Surveillance Network was established in 1996 to perform a 5-year, prospective study of the usefulness of genotyping Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates to tuberculosis control programs. Seven sentinel sites identified all new cases of tuberculosis, collected information on patients and contacts, and obtained patient isolates. Seven genotyping laboratories performed DNA fingerprinting analysis by the international standard IS6110 method. BioImage Whole Band Analyzer software was used to analyze patterns, and distinct patterns were assigned unique designations. Isolates with six or fewer bands on IS6110 patterns were also spoligotyped. Patient data and genotyping designations were entered in a relational database and merged with selected variables from the national surveillance database. In two related databases, we compiled the results of routine contact investigations and the results of investigations of the relationships of patients who had isolates with matching genotypes. We describe the methods used in the study.

  • Molecular Epidemiology of Tuberculosis in a Sentinel Surveillance Population PDF Version [PDF - 365 KB - 18 pages]
    B. A. Ellis et al.
       View Abstract

    We conducted a population-based study to assess demographic and risk-factor correlates for the most frequently occurring Mycobacterium tuberculosis genotypes from tuberculosis (TB) patients. The study included all incident, culture-positive TB patients from seven sentinel surveillance sites in the United States from 1996 to 2000. M. tuberculosis isolates were genotyped by IS6110-based restriction fragment length polymorphism and spoligotyping. Genotyping was available for 90% of 11,923 TB patients. Overall, 48% of cases had isolates that matched those from another patient, including 64% of U.S.-born and 35% of foreign-born patients. By logistic regression analysis, risk factors for clustering of genotypes were being male, U.S.-born, black, homeless, and infected with HIV; having pulmonary disease with cavitations on chest radiograph and a sputum smear with acid-fast bacilli; and excessive drug or alcohol use. Molecular characterization of TB isolates permitted risk correlates for clusters and specific genotypes to be described and provided information regarding cluster dynamics over time.

  • Quality Assessment of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Genotyping in a Large Laboratory Network PDF Version [PDF - 342 KB - 6 pages]
    C. R. Braden et al.
       View Abstract

    Quality assessment exercises were conducted to evaluate the reproducibility of IS6110 DNA fingerprinting performed by eight laboratories in the National Tuberculosis Genotyping and Surveillance Network. Three panels, each with 8 to 16 isolates, were typed at all laboratories, resulting in 280 images. When the pattern obtained by the majority for each isolate was used as the standard, exact matches were obtained for 73% of patterns; 90% and 97% of patterns matched within one- and two-band differences, respectively. A second approach involved retyping of randomly selected isolates at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retyping was done for 8–19 isolates per laboratory (76 total). Paired images matched exactly for 54% of isolates and within one and two band differences, 78% and 93%, respectively. We evaluated reasons for mismatching. We also evaluated the reproducibility of spoligotyping using a test panel of 13 isolates; a discrepancy of 1 in 91 results was noted.

  • Identifying the Sources of Tuberculosis in Young Children: A Multistate Investigation PDF Version [PDF - 256 KB - 8 pages]
    S. J. Sun et al.
       View Abstract

    To better understand the molecular epidemiology of tuberculosis (TB) transmission for culture-confirmed patients <5 years of age, data were analyzed from a population-based study conducted in seven U.S. sites from 1996 to 2000. Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates were genotyped with IS6110-based restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and spoligotyping. Case-patient data were obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national tuberculosis registry and health department records. Routine public health investigations conducted by local health departments identified suspected source patients for 57 (51%) of 111 culture-confirmed patients <5 years of age. For 8 (15%) of 52 culture-confirmed patients <5 years of age and their suspected source patients with complete genotyping results, genotypes suggested infection with different TB strains. Potential differences between sources for patients <5 years of age and source patients that transmitted TB to adolescent and adult patients were identified.

  • DNA Fingerprinting of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Isolates from Epidemiologically Linked Case Pairs PDF Version [PDF - 241 KB - 6 pages]
    D. E. Bennett et al.
       View Abstract

    DNA fingerprinting was used to evaluate epidemiologically linked case pairs found during routine tuberculosis (TB) contact investigations in seven sentinel sites from 1996 to 2000. Transmission was confirmed when the DNA fingerprints of source and secondary cases matched. Of 538 case pairs identified, 156 (29%) did not have matching fingerprints. Case pairs from the same household were no more likely to have confirmed transmission than those linked elsewhere. Case pairs with unconfirmed transmission were more likely to include a smear-negative source case (odds ratio [OR] 2.0) or a foreign-born secondary case (OR 3.4) and less likely to include a secondary case <15 years old (OR 0.3). Our study suggests that contact investigations should focus not only on the household but also on all settings frequented by an index case. Foreign-born persons with TB may have been infected previously in high-prevalence countries; screening and preventive measures recommended by the Institute of Medicine could prevent TB reactivation in these cases.

  • Molecular Epidemiology of Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis, New York City, 1995–1997 PDF Version [PDF - 1.35 MB - 9 pages]
    S. S. Munsiff et al.
       View Abstract

    From January 1, 1995, to December 31, 1997, we reviewed records of all New York City patients who had multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDRTB); we performed insertion sequence (IS) 6110-based DNA genotyping on the isolates. Secondary genotyping was performed for low IS6110 copy band strains. Patients with identical DNA pattern strains were considered clustered. From 1995 through 1997, MDRTB was diagnosed in 241 patients; 217 (90%) had no prior treatment history, and 166 (68.9%) were born in the United States or Puerto Rico. Compared with non-MDRTB patients, MDRTB patients were more likely to be born in the United States, have HIV infection, and work in health care. Genotyping results were available for 234 patients; 153 (65.4%) were clustered, 126 (82.3%) of them in eight clusters of >4 patients. Epidemiologic links were identified for 30 (12.8%) patients; most had been exposed to patients diagnosed before the study period. These strains were likely transmitted in the early 1990s when MDRTB outbreaks and tuberculosis transmission were widespread in New York.

  • Genotyping Analyses of Tuberculosis Cases in U.S.- and Foreign-Born Massachusetts Residents PDF Version [PDF - 1.19 MB - 7 pages]
    S. Sharnprapai et al.
       View Abstract

    We used molecular genotyping to further understand the epidemiology and transmission patterns of tuberculosis (TB) in Massachusetts. The study population included 983 TB patients whose cases were verified by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health between July 1, 1996, and December 31, 2000, and for whom genotyping results and information on country of origin were available. Two hundred seventy-two (28%) of TB patients were in genetic clusters, and isolates from U.S-born were twice as likely to cluster as those of foreign-born (odds ratio [OR] 2.29, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.69, 3.12). Our results suggest that restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis has limited capacity to differentiate TB strains when the isolate contains six or fewer copies of IS6110, even with spoligotyping. Clusters of TB patients with more than six copies of IS6110 were more likely to have epidemiologic connections than were clusters of TB patients with isolates with few copies of IS6110 (OR 8.01, 95%; CI 3.45,18.93).

  • Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in a Rural Community, Arkansas, 1945–2000 PDF Version [PDF - 424 KB - 3 pages]
    J. A. Dillaha et al.
       View Abstract

    A cluster of tuberculosis cases in a rural community in Arkansas persisted from 1991 to 1999. The cluster had 13 members, 11 linked epidemiologically. Old records identified 24 additional patients for 40 linked case-patients during a 54-year period. Residents of this neighborhood represent a population at high risk who should be considered for tuberculin testing and treatment for latent tuberculosis infection.

  • Cross-Jurisdictional Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Maryland and Washington, D.C., 1996–2000, Linked to the Homeless PDF Version [PDF - 202 KB - 3 pages]
    M. Lathan et al.
       View Abstract

    From 1996 to 2000, 23 Maryland and Washington, D.C., tuberculosis cases were identified in one six-band DNA cluster. Cases were clustered on the basis of their Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates. Medical record reviews and interviews were conducted to identify epidemiologic linkages. Eighteen (78%) of the 23 case-patients with identical restriction fragment length polymorphism patterns were linked to another member; half the patients were associated with a Washington, D.C., homeless shelter. Molecular epidemiology defined the extent of this large, cross-jurisdictional outbreak.

  • Use of DNA Fingerprinting To Investigate a Multiyear, Multistate Tuberculosis Outbreak PDF Version [PDF - 236 KB - 5 pages]
    P. D. McElroy et al.
       View Abstract

    In 1998–1999, the Baltimore TB control program detected a cluster of 21 tuberculosis (TB) cases. Patients reported frequent travel to various East Coast cities. An investigation was conducted to determine whether transmission of the same Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain was occurring in these other localities. A collaborative investigation among federal, state, and local TB controllers included TB record reviews, interviews of patients, and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of selected M. tuberculosis isolates from diagnosed TB patients in several cities in 1996–2001. A national TB genotyping database was searched for RFLP patterns that matched the outbreak pattern. Eighteen additional outbreak-related cases were detected outside of Baltimore—the earliest diagnosed in New Jersey in 1996, and the most recent in New York City in late 2001. The outbreak demonstrates the need for strategies to detect links among patients diagnosed with TB across multiple TB control jurisdictions.

  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis Transmission between Cluster Members with Similar Fingerprint Patterns PDF Version [PDF - 510 KB - 3 pages]
    K. Ijaz et al.
       View Abstract

    Molecular epidemiologic studies provide evidence of transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis within clusters of patients whose isolates share identical IS6110-DNA fingerprint patterns. However, M. tuberculosis transmission among patients whose isolates have similar but not identical DNA fingerprint patterns (i.e., differing by a single band) has not been well documented. We used DNA fingerprinting, combined with conventional epidemiology, to show unsuspected patterns of tuberculosis transmission associated with three public bars in the same city. Among clustered TB cases, DNA fingerprinting analysis of isolates with similar and identical fingerprints helped us discover epidemiologic links missed during routine tuberculosis contact investigations.

  • A Prospective, Multicenter Study of Laboratory Cross-Contamination of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Cultures PDF Version [PDF - 201 KB - 4 pages]
    R. M. Jasmer et al.
       View Abstract

    A prospective study of false-positive cultures of Mycobacterium tuberculosis that resulted from laboratory cross-contamination was conducted at three laboratories in California. Laboratory cross-contamination accounted for 2% of the positive cultures. Cross-contamination should be a concern when an isolate matches the genotype of another sample processed during the same period.

  • Estimated Costs of False Laboratory Diagnoses of Tuberculosis in Three Patients PDF Version [PDF - 338 KB - 7 pages]
    J. M. Northrup et al.
       View Abstract

    We estimated direct medical and nonmedical costs associated with a false diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) caused by laboratory cross-contamination of Mycobacterium tuberculosis cultures in Massachusetts in 1998 and 1999. For three patients who received misdiagnoses of active TB disease on the basis of laboratory cross-contamination, the costs totaled U.S.$32,618. Of the total, 97% was attributed to the public sector (local and state health departments, public health hospital and laboratory, and county and state correctional facilities); 3% to the private sector (physicians, hospitals, and laboratories); and <1% to the patient. Hospitalizations and inpatient tests, procedures, and TB medications accounted for 69% of costs, and outpatient TB medications accounted for 18%. The average cost per patient was $10,873 (range, $1,033-$21,306). Reducing laboratory cross-contamination and quickly identifying patients with cross-contaminated cultures can prevent unnecessary and potentially dangerous treatment regimens and anguish for the patient and financial burden to the health-care system.

  • Statewide Molecular Epidemiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Transmission in a Moderate- to Low-Incidence State: Are Contact Investigations Enough? PDF Version [PDF - 307 KB - 9 pages]
    W. A. Cronin et al.
       View Abstract

    To assess the circumstances of recent transmission of tuberculosis (TB) (progression to active disease <2 years after infection), we obtained DNA fingerprints for 1,172 (99%) of 1,179 Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates collected from Maryland TB patients from 1996 to 2000. We also reviewed medical records and interviewed patients with genetically matching M. tuberculosis strains to identify epidemiologic links (cluster investigation). Traditional settings for transmission were defined as households or close relatives and friends; all other settings were considered nontraditional. Of 436 clustered patients, 114 had recently acquired TB. Cluster investigations were significantly more likely than contact investigations to identify patients who recently acquired TB in nontraditional settings (33/42 vs. 23/72, respectively; p<0.001). Transmission from a foreign-born person to a U.S.-born person was rare and occurred mainly in public settings. The time from symptom onset to diagnosis was twice as long for transmitters as for nontransmitters (16.8 vs. 8.5 weeks, respectively; p<0.01). Molecular epidemiologic studies showed that eliminating diagnostic delays can prevent TB transmission in nontraditional settings, which elude contact investigations.

  • Skin-Test Screening and Tuberculosis Transmission among the Homeless PDF Version [PDF - 197 KB - 5 pages]
    P. Kong et al.
       View Abstract

    We describe the implementation of a mandatory tuberculosis (TB) screening program that uses symptom screening and tuberculin skin testing in homeless shelters. We used the results of DNA fingerprinting of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates to evaluate the effect of the program on TB incidence and transmission. After the program was implemented, the proportion of cases among homeless persons detected by screening activities increased, and the estimated TB incidence decreased from 510 to 121 cases per 100,000 population per year. Recent transmission, defined by DNA fingerprinting analysis as clustered patterns occurring within 2 years, decreased from 49% to 14% (p=0.03). Our results suggest that the shelter-based screening program decreased the incidence of TB by decreasing its transmission among the homeless.

  • Impact of Genotyping of Mycobacterium tuberculosis on Public Health Practice in Massachusetts PDF Version [PDF - 211 KB - 5 pages]
    A. C. Miller et al.
       View Abstract

    Massachusetts was one of seven sentinel surveillance sites in the National Tuberculosis Genotyping and Surveillance Network. From 1996 through 2000, isolates from new patients with tuberculosis (TB) underwent genotyping. We describe the impact that genotyping had on public health practice in Massachusetts and some limitations of the technique. Through genotyping, we explored the dynamics of TB outbreaks, investigated laboratory cross-contamination, and identified Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains, transmission sites, and accurate epidemiologic links. Genotyping should be used with epidemiologic follow-up to identify how resources can best be allocated to investigate genotypic findings.

  • Human Exposure following Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection of Multiple Animal Species in a Metropolitan Zoo PDF Version [PDF - 541 KB - 4 pages]
    P. Oh et al.
       View Abstract

    From 1997 to 2000, Mycobacterium tuberculosis was diagnosed in two Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), three Rocky Mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus), and one black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) in the Los Angeles Zoo. DNA fingerprint patterns suggested recent transmission. An investigation found no active cases of tuberculosis in humans; however, tuberculin skin-test conversions in humans were associated with training elephants and attending an elephant necropsy.

  • National Tuberculosis Genotyping and Surveillance Network: Analysis of the Genotype Database PDF Version [PDF - 821 KB - 9 pages]
    L. S. Cowan and J. T. Crawford
       View Abstract

    As part of the National Tuberculosis and Genotyping Surveillance Network, isolates obtained from all new cases of tuberculosis occurring in seven geographically separate surveillance sites from 1996 through 2000 were genotyped. A total of 10,883 isolates were fingerprinted by the IS6110-restriction fragment length polymorphism method, yielding 6,128 distinct patterns. Low-copy isolates (those with six or fewer bands) were also spoligotyped. The distribution of specific genotype clusters was examined. Databases were also examined for families of related genotypes. Analysis of IS6110 patterns showed 497 patterns related to the W-Beijing family; these pattens represent 946 (9%) of all isolates in the study. Six new sets of related fingerprint patterns were also proposed for isolates containing 6–15 copies of IS6110. These fingerprint sets contain up to 251 patterns and 414 isolates; together, they contain 21% of isolates in this copy number range. These sets of fingerprints may represent endemic strains distributed across the United States.

  • Molecular Typing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Strains with a Common Two-Band IS6110 Pattern PDF Version [PDF - 195 KB - 3 pages]
    K. H. Lok et al.
       View Abstract

    We conducted a population-based molecular typing of all Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates obtained in Alabama since 1994. Of 2,452 isolates, 1,013 (41%) had fewer than 6 bands of IS6110; 348 (14%) had a single two-band pattern (JH2). With conventional epidemiologic methods, we identified three groups of related patients with JH2 isolates. Spoligotyping and pattern of variable number of tandem repeats identified 10 molecular groups; two found by conventional methods were subdivided.

  • Spoligologos: A Bioinformatic Approach to Displaying and Analyzing Mycobacterium tuberculosis Data PDF Version [PDF - 234 KB - 4 pages]
    J. R. Driscoll et al.
       View Abstract

    Spacer oligonucleotide (spoligotyping) analysis is a rapid polymerase chain reaction–based method of DNA fingerprinting the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. We examined spoligotype data using a bioinformatic tool (sequence logo analysis) to elucidate undisclosed phylogenetic relationships and gain insights into the global dissemination of strains of tuberculosis. Logo analysis of spoligotyping data provides a simple way to describe a fingerprint signature and may be useful in categorizing unique spoligotypes patterns as they are discovered. Large databases of DNA fingerprint information, such as those from the U.S. National Tuberculosis Genotyping and Surveillance Network and the European Concerted Action on Tuberculosis, contain information on thousands of strains from diverse regions. The description of related spoligotypes has depended on exhaustive listings of the individual spoligotyping patterns. Logo analysis may become another useful graphic method of visualizing and presenting spoligotyping clusters from these databases.

  • Molecular Differentiation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Strains without IS6110 Insertions PDF Version [PDF - 467 KB - 4 pages]
    K. H. Lok et al.
       View Abstract

    By using standard restriction fragment length polymorphism, 6 zero-copy IS6110 Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates were identified from 1,180 Maryland isolates as part of the National Tuberculosis Genotyping Surveillance Network Project. By using various genotyping methods, we demonstrated that this zero band cluster can be differentiated into six genotypes.

  • DNA Fingerprinting of Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Lessons Learned and Implications for the Future PDF Version [PDF - 250 KB - 6 pages]
    S. J. McNabb et al.
       View Abstract

    DNA fingerprinting of Mycobacterium tuberculosis—a relatively new laboratory technique—offers promise as a powerful aid in the prevention and control of tuberculosis (TB). Established in 1996 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Tuberculosis Genotyping Surveillance Network was a 5-year prospective, population-based study of DNA fingerprinting conducted from 1996 to 2000. The data from this study suggest multiple molecular epidemiologic and program management uses for DNA fingerprinting in TB public health practice. From these data, we also gain a clearer understanding of the overall diversity of M. tuberculosis strains as well as the presence of endemic strains in the United States. We summarize the key findings and the impact that DNA fingerprinting may have on future approaches to TB control. Although challenges and limitations to the use of DNA fingerprinting exist, the widespread implementation of the technique into routine TB prevention and control practices appears scientifically justified.

Volume 8, Number 11—November 2002 - Continued


  • Rifampin- and Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis in Russian Civilians and Prison Inmates: Dominance of the Beijing Strain Family PDF Version [PDF - 691 KB - 7 pages]
    F. Drobniewski et al.
       View Abstract

    Consecutive patient cultures (140) of Mycobacteriium tuberculosis were collected from five Russian civilian and prison tuberculosis laboratories and analyzed for rifampin (rpoB) and isoniazid resistance (inhA, katG, ahpC); transmission of Beijing family isolates; and the importance of prison and previous therapy in drug resistance. Rifampin, isoniazid, and multidrug resistance occurred in 58.2%, 51.6%, and 44.7% of cultures, respectively; 80% of prison cultures were rifampin resistant. Spoligotyping and variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) fingerprinting divided the isolates into 43 groups. Spoligotyping demonstrated that a high proportion (68.1%) of patients were infected with Beijing family strains and that most (69.1%) were rifampin resistant; the highest proportion (81.6%) occurred in prison. One VNTR subgroup (42435) comprised 68 (72.3%) of the Beijing isolates with a small number of IS6110 types; 50 (73.5%) were rifampin resistant. Rifampin-resistant Beijing isolates are dominant within the patient population, especially among prisoners, and threaten treatment programs.

  • Tuberculosis-Related Deaths within a Well-Functioning DOTS Control Program PDF Version [PDF - 516 KB - 7 pages]
    M. d. García-García et al.
       View Abstract

    To describe the molecular epidemiology of tuberculosis (TB)-related deaths in a well-managed program in a low-HIV area, we analyzed data from a cohort of 454 pulmonary TB patients recruited between March 1995 and October 2000 in southern Mexico. Patients who were sputum acid-fast bacillus smear positive underwent clinical and mycobacteriologic evaluation (isolation, identification, drug-susceptibility testing, and IS6110-based genotyping and spoligotyping) and received treatment from the local directly observed treatment strategy (DOTS) program. After an average of 2.3 years of follow-up, death was higher for clustered cases (28.6 vs. 7%, p=0.01). Cox analysis revealed that TB-related mortality hazard ratios included treatment default (8.9), multidrug resistance (5.7), recently transmitted TB (4.1), weight loss (3.9), and having less than 6 years of formal education (2). In this community, TB is associated with high mortality rates.

  • Molecular Analysis of Sarcoidosis Tissues for Mycobacterium Species DNA PDF Version [PDF - 356 KB - 13 pages]
    W. P. Drake et al.
       View Abstract

    We performed polymerase chain reaction analysis, for Mycobacterium species 16S rRNA, rpoB, and IS6110 sequences, on 25 tissue specimens from patients with sarcoidosis and on 25 control tissue specimens consisting of mediastinal or cervical lymph nodes and lung biopsies. Mycobacterium species 16S rRNA sequences were amplified from 12 (48%) rpoB sequences from 6 (24%) of the sarcoidosis specimens. In total, 16S rRNA or rpoB sequences were amplified from 15 sarcoidosis specimens (60%) but were not detected in any of the control tissues (p=0.00002, Chi square). In three specimens, the sequences resembled Mycobacterium species other than M. tuberculosis. All specimens with sequences consistent with M. tuberculosis were negative for IS6110. We provide evidence that one of a variety of Mycobacterium species, especially organisms resembling M. tuberculosis, is found in most patients with sarcoidosis.


  • Genomewide Pattern of Synonymous Nucleotide Substitution in Two Complete Genomes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis PDF Version [PDF - 719 KB - 5 pages]
    A. L. Hughes et al.
       View Abstract

    Comparison of the pattern of synonymous nucleotide substitution between two complete genomes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis at 3,298 putatively orthologous loci showed a mean percent difference per synonymous site of 0.000328 ± 0.000022. Although 80.5% of loci showed no synonymous or nonsynonymous nucleotide differences, the level of polymorphism observed at other loci was greater than suggested by previous studies of a small number of loci. This level of nucleotide difference leads to the conservative estimate that the common ancestor of these two genotypes occurred approximately 35,000 ago, which is twice as high as some recent estimates of the time of origin of this species. Our results suggest that a large number of loci should be examined for an accurate assessment of the level of nucleotide diversity in natural populations of pathogenic microorganisms.

  • Global Distribution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Spoligotypes PDF Version [PDF - 179 KB - 3 pages]
    I. Filliol et al.
       View Abstract

    We present a short summary of recent observations on the global distribution of the major clades of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, the causative agent of tuberculosis. This global distribution was defined by data-mining of an international spoligotyping database, SpolDB3. This database contains 11,708 patterns from as many clinical isolates originating from more than 90 countries. The 11,708 spoligotypes were clustered into 813 shared types. A total of 1,300 orphan patterns (clinical isolates showing a unique spoligotype) were also detected.

  • Two Cases of Pulmonary Tuberculosis Caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis subsp. canetti PDF Version [PDF - 314 KB - 3 pages]
    J. Miltgen et al.
       View Abstract

    We identified an unusual strain of mycobacteria from two patients with pulmonary tuberculosis by its smooth, glossy morphotype and, primarily, its genotypic characteristics. Spoligotyping and restriction fragment length polymorphism typing were carried out with the insertion sequence IS6110 patterns. All known cases of tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium canetti have been contracted in the Horn of Africa.

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