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1.  Snapshot of Moving and Expanding Clones of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Their Global Distribution Assessed by Spoligotyping in an International Study†  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2003;41(5):1963-1970.
The present update on the global distribution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex spoligotypes provides both the octal and binary descriptions of the spoligotypes for M. tuberculosis complex, including Mycobacterium bovis, from >90 countries (13,008 patterns grouped into 813 shared types containing 11,708 isolates and 1,300 orphan patterns). A number of potential indices were developed to summarize the information on the biogeographical specificity of a given shared type, as well as its geographical spreading (matching code and spreading index, respectively). To facilitate the analysis of hundreds of spoligotypes each made up of a binary succession of 43 bits of information, a number of major and minor visual rules were also defined. A total of six major rules (A to F) with the precise description of the extra missing spacers (minor rules) were used to define 36 major clades (or families) of M. tuberculosis. Some major clades identified were the East African-Indian (EAI) clade, the Beijing clade, the Haarlem clade, the Latin American and Mediterranean (LAM) clade, the Central Asian (CAS) clade, a European clade of IS6110 low banders (X; highly prevalent in the United States and United Kingdom), and a widespread yet poorly defined clade (T). When the visual rules defined above were used for an automated labeling of the 813 shared types to define nine superfamilies of strains (Mycobacterium africanum, Beijing, M. bovis, EAI, CAS, T, Haarlem, X, and LAM), 96.9% of the shared types received a label, showing the potential for automated labeling of M. tuberculosis families in well-defined phylogeographical families. Intercontinental matches of shared types among eight continents and subcontinents (Africa, North America, Central America, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, and the Far East) are analyzed and discussed.
PMCID: PMC154710  PMID: 12734235
2.  First insight into Mycobacterium tuberculosis genetic diversity in Paraguay 
BMC Microbiology  2007;7:75.
We present a picture of the biodiversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Paraguay, an inland South American country harboring 5 million inhabitants with a tuberculosis notification rate of 38/100,000.
A total of 220 strains collected throughout the country in 2003 were classified by spoligotyping into 79 different patterns. Spoligopatterns of 173 strains matched 51 shared international types (SITs) already present in an updated version of SpolDB4, the global spoligotype database at Pasteur Institute, Guadeloupe. Our study contributed to the database 13 new SITs and 15 orphan spoligopatterns. Frequencies of major M. tuberculosis spoligotype lineages in our sample were as follows: Latin-American & Mediterranean (LAM) 52.3%, Haarlem 18.2%, S clade 9.5%, T superfamily 8.6%, X clade 0.9% and Beijing clade 0.5%. Concordant clustering by IS6110 restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and spoligotyping identified transmission in specific settings such as the Tacumbu jail in Asuncion and aboriginal communities in the Chaco. LAM genotypes were ubiquitous and predominated among both RFLP clusters and new patterns, suggesting ongoing transmission and adaptative evolution in Paraguay. We describe a new and successfully evolving clone of the Haarlem 3 sub-lineage, SIT2643, which is thus far restricted to Paraguay. We confirmed its clonality by RFLP and mycobacterial interspersed repetitive unit (MIRU) typing; we named it "Tacumbu" after the jail where it was found to be spreading. One-fifth of the spoligopatterns in our study are rarely or never seen outside Paraguay and one-tenth do not fit within any of the major phylogenetic clades in SpolDB4.
Lineages currently thriving in Paraguay may reflect local host-pathogen adaptation of strains introduced during past migrations from Europe.
PMCID: PMC1988809  PMID: 17686181
3.  Characterization of the genetic diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in São Paulo city, Brazil 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:269.
Tuberculosis is a major health problem in São Paulo, Brazil, which is the most populous and one of the most cosmopolitan cities in South America. To characterize the genetic diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the population of this city, the genotyping techniques of spoligotyping and MIRU were applied to 93 isolates collected in two consecutive years from 93 different tuberculosis patients residing in São Paulo city and attending the Clemente Ferreira Institute (the reference clinic for the treatment of tuberculosis).
Spoligotyping generated 53 different spoligotype patterns. Fifty-one isolates (54.8%) were grouped into 13 spoligotyping clusters. Seventy- two strains (77.4%) showed spoligotypes described in the international databases (SpolDB4, SITVIT), and 21 (22.6%) showed unidentified patterns. The most frequent spoligotype families were Latin American Mediterranean (LAM) (26 isolates), followed by the T family (24 isolates) and Haarlem (H) (11 isolates), which together accounted for 65.4% of all the isolates. These three families represent the major genotypes found in Africa, Central America, South America and Europe. Six Spoligo-International-types (designated SITs by the database) comprised 51.8% (37/72) of all the identified spoligotypes (SIT53, SIT50, SIT42, SIT60, SIT17 and SIT1). Other SITs found in this study indicated the great genetic diversity of M. tuberculosis, reflecting the remarkable ethnic diversity of São Paulo city inhabitants. The MIRU technique was more discriminatory and did not identify any genetic clusters with 100% similarity among the 93 isolates. The allelic analysis showed that MIRU loci 26, 40, 23 and 10 were the most discriminatory. When MIRU and spoligotyping techniques were combined, all isolates grouped in the 13 spoligotyping clusters were separated.
Our data indicated the genomic stability of over 50% of spoligotypes identified in São Paulo and the great genetic diversity of M. tuberculosis isolates in the remaining SITs, reflecting the large ethnic mix of the São Paulo city inhabitants. The results also indicated that in this city, M. tuberculosis isolates acquired drug resistance independently of genotype and that resistance was more dependent on the selective pressure of treatment failure and the environmental circumstances of patients.
PMCID: PMC3160979  PMID: 21801364
4.  Spoligotypes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from Different Provinces of China▿ †  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2010;48(11):4102-4106.
A total of 2,346 Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from 13 provinces in China were genotyped by spoligotyping. Two hundred seventy-eight spoligotypes were identified: 2,153 isolates were grouped into 85 clusters, and the remaining 193 isolates were orphans. Comparison with the SpolDB4.0 database revealed that 118 spoligotypes had shared international type numbers in the database and the other 160 were novel. These 160 novel spoligotypes were assigned to families and subfamilies using the SpotClust program. The most prevalent family was the Beijing family (74.08%), followed by the T family (14.11%). CAS family strains were found only in the Xinjiang and Tibet regions, while EAI family strains were found only in Fujian Province. In conclusion, the present study of the M. tuberculosis population in China demonstrated that Beijing family isolates are the most prevalent strains in China and that they exhibit geographical variation. Furthermore, many new spoligotypes were found in this study.
PMCID: PMC3020837  PMID: 20739484
5.  Molecular characterisation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates in the First National Survey of Anti-tuberculosis Drug Resistance from Venezuela 
BMC Microbiology  2006;6:90.
Molecular typing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains has become a valuable tool in the epidemiology of tuberculosis (TB) by allowing detection of outbreaks, tracking of epidemics, identification of genotypes and transmission events among patients who would have remained undetected by conventional contact investigation. This is the first genetic biodiversity study of M. tuberculosis in Venezuela. Thus, we investigated the genetic patterns of strains isolated in the first survey of anti-tuberculosis drug-resistance realised as part of the Global Project of Anti-tuberculosis Drug Resistance Surveillance (WHO/IUATLD).
Clinical isolates (670/873) were genotyped by spoligotyping. The results were compared with the international spoligotyping database (SpolDB4). Multidrug resistant (MDR) strains (14/18) were also analysed by IS6110-RFLP assays, and resistance to isoniazid and rifampicin was characterised.
Spoligotyping grouped 82% (548/670) of the strains into 59 clusters. Twenty new spoligotypes (SITs) specific to Venezuela were identified. Eight new inter-regional clusters were created. The Beijing genotype was not found. The genetic network shows that the Latin American and Mediterranean family constitutes the backbone of the genetic TB population-structure in Venezuela, responsible of >60% of total TB cases studied. MDR was 0.5% in never treated patients and 13.5% in previously treated patients. Mutations in rpoB gene and katG genes were detected in 64% and 43% of the MDR strains, respectively.
Two clusters were found to be identical by the four different analysis methods, presumably representing cases of recent transmission of MDR tuberculosis.
This study gives a first overview of the M. tuberculosis strains circulating in Venezuela during the first survey of anti-tuberculosis drug-resistance. It may aid in the creation of a national database that will be a valuable support for further studies.
PMCID: PMC1621067  PMID: 17032442
6.  Genotyping of Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates in two cities of Turkey: Description of a new family of genotypes that is phylogeographically specific for Asia Minor 
BMC Microbiology  2005;5:44.
Population-based bacterial genetics using repeated DNA loci is an efficient approach to study the biodiversity and phylogeographical structure of human pathogens, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the agent of tuberculosis. Indeed large genetic diversity databases are available for this pathogen and are regularly updated. No population-based polymorphism data were yet available for M. tuberculosis in Turkey, at the crossroads of Eurasia.
A total of 245 DNAs from Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates from tuberculosis patients residing in Turkey (Malatya n = 147 or Ankara n = 98) were genotyped by spoligotyping, a high-throughput genotyping method based on the polymorphism of the Direct Repeat locus. Thirty-three spoligotyping-defined clusters including 206 patients and 39 unique patterns were found. The ST41 cluster, as designated according to the international SpolDB3 database project, represented one fourth and when gathered to three genotypes, ST53, ST50 and ST284, one half of all the isolates. Out of 34 clinical isolates harboring ST41 which were further genotyped by IS6110 and by MIRU-VNTR typing, a typical 2-copy IS6110-RFLP pattern and a "215125113322" MIRU-VNTR pattern were observed among 21 clinical isolates. Further search in various databases confirms the likely Turkish-phylogeographical specificity of this clonal complex.
We described a new phylogeographically-specific clone of M. tuberculosis, designated LAM7-TUR. Further investigations to assess its frequency within all regions of Turkey and its phylogeographical origin and phylogenetic position within the global M. tuberculosis phylogenetic tree will shed new light on its endemicity in Asia Minor.
PMCID: PMC1192800  PMID: 16045794
7.  High Prevalence of Shared International Type 53 among Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex Strains in Retreated Patients from Côte d’Ivoire 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e45363.
Genotyping methods are useful tools to provide information on tuberculosis epidemic. They can allow a better response from health authorities and the implementation of measures for tuberculosis control. This study aimed to identify the main lineages and clades of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex strains circulating in Côte d’Ivoire.
Methods/Main Findings
Strains isolated from sputum samples of patients ongoing retreatment from all the country were characterized by spoligotyping and by MIRU-VNTR. Profiles obtained by spoligotyping were first compared to the SITVIT/SpolDB4 database for family assignment. Of 194 strains analysed, 146 (75.3%) belonged to the T lineage. The most predominant spoligotype was the shared international type 53 with 135 strains (69.6%). In contrast with neighbouring countries, LAM (11 strains, 5.7%) and H (9 strains 4.6%) lineages were slightly represented. Only 3 Beijing strains (1.5%) and 4 strains of Mycobacterium africanum (2%) were found. Analysis of the results obtained with MIRU-VNTR revealed also a high level of clustering.
The population of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex strains among retreatment cases in Côte d’Ivoire exhibits a low diversity, allowing to assume recent transmission and locally based infection.
PMCID: PMC3445461  PMID: 23028962
8.  A first insight into the genetic diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, assessed by spoligotyping 
BMC Microbiology  2006;6:76.
Tanzania has a high tuberculosis incidence, and genotyping studies of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the country are necessary in order to improve our understanding of the epidemic. Spoligotyping is a potentially powerful genotyping method due to fast generation of genotyping results, high reproducibility and low operation costs. The recently constructed SpolDB4 database and the model-based program 'Spotclust' can be used to assign isolates to families, subfamilies and variants. The results of a study can thus be analyzed in a global context.
One hundred forty-seven pulmonary isolates from consecutive tuberculosis patients in Dar es Salaam were spoligotyped. SpolDB4 and 'Spotclust' were used to assign isolates to families, subfamilies and variants. The CAS (37%), LAM (22%) and EAI (17%) families were the most abundant. Despite the dominance of these three families, diversity was high due to variation within M. tuberculosis families. Of the obtained spoligopatterns, 64% were previously unrecorded.
Spoligotyping is useful to gain an overall understanding of the local TB epidemic. This study demonstrates that the extensive TB epidemic in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania is caused by a few successful M. tuberculosis families, dominated by the CAS family. Import of strains was a minor problem.
PMCID: PMC1592105  PMID: 16970826
9.  Molecular diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from patients with tuberculosis in Honduras 
BMC Microbiology  2010;10:208.
Tuberculosis persists as a public health problem in Honduras. A better knowledge of the molecular characteristics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains will contribute to understand the transmission dynamics of the disease within the country. The aim of this study was to provide an insight of the genetic biodiversity of M. tuberculosis clinical isolates collected in Honduras between 1994 and 2002. Genotyping was performed using spoligotyping and RFLP. The spoligotypes obtained were compared with the SITVIT2 proprietary database of the Pasteur Institute of Guadeloupe.
Spoligotyping grouped 84% of the isolates into 27 clusters (2 to 43 strains per cluster). Of the 44 shared international types (SITs) identified among the Honduran stains, 8 SITs were newly identified either within the present study or after match with an orphan type previously identified in the SITVIT2 database. In addition, 16 patterns corresponded to orphan, previously unreported isolates.
The Latin American Mediterranean (LAM) lineage was the most common in this study; 55% of the strains belonged to this family. Other genotypes found were Haarlem (16%), T (16%), X-clade (6%), Unknown signature (5%) and S (1%). Only one Beijing strain was identified (0.5%).
We observed a high degree of diversity after characterizing the 43 isolates belonging to the main spoligotyping cluster (SIT 33, LAM3) with IS6110-RFLP. A total of 35 different RFLP-fingerprints were detected, of which 6 patterns corresponded to the same number of clusters comprising 14 strains.
The findings obtained in this study show that tuberculosis transmission in Honduras is due to modern M. tuberculosis lineages with high level of biodiversity.
PMCID: PMC2923133  PMID: 20678242
10.  Spoligotype database of Mycobacterium tuberculosis: biogeographic distribution of shared types and epidemiologic and phylogenetic perspectives. 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2001;7(3):390-396.
We give an update on the worldwide spoligotype database, which now contains 3,319 spoligotype patterns of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in 47 countries, with 259 shared types, i.e., identical spoligotypes shared by two or more patient isolates. The 259 shared types contained a total of 2,779 (84%) of all the isolates. Seven major genetic groups represented 37% of all clustered isolates. Two types (119 and 137) were found almost exclusively in the USA and accounted for 9% of clustered isolates. The remaining 1,517 isolates were scattered into 252 different spoligotypes. This database constitutes a tool for pattern comparison of M. tuberculosis clinical isolates for global epidemiologic studies and phylogenetic purposes.
PMCID: PMC2631784  PMID: 11384514
11.  Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex genetic diversity: mining the fourth international spoligotyping database (SpolDB4) for classification, population genetics and epidemiology 
BMC Microbiology  2006;6:23.
The Direct Repeat locus of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC) is a member of the CRISPR (Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) sequences family. Spoligotyping is the widely used PCR-based reverse-hybridization blotting technique that assays the genetic diversity of this locus and is useful both for clinical laboratory, molecular epidemiology, evolutionary and population genetics. It is easy, robust, cheap, and produces highly diverse portable numerical results, as the result of the combination of (1) Unique Events Polymorphism (UEP) (2) Insertion-Sequence-mediated genetic recombination. Genetic convergence, although rare, was also previously demonstrated. Three previous international spoligotype databases had partly revealed the global and local geographical structures of MTC bacilli populations, however, there was a need for the release of a new, more representative and extended, international spoligotyping database.
The fourth international spoligotyping database, SpolDB4, describes 1939 shared-types (STs) representative of a total of 39,295 strains from 122 countries, which are tentatively classified into 62 clades/lineages using a mixed expert-based and bioinformatical approach. The SpolDB4 update adds 26 new potentially phylogeographically-specific MTC genotype families. It provides a clearer picture of the current MTC genomes diversity as well as on the relationships between the genetic attributes investigated (spoligotypes) and the infra-species classification and evolutionary history of the species. Indeed, an independent Naïve-Bayes mixture-model analysis has validated main of the previous supervised SpolDB3 classification results, confirming the usefulness of both supervised and unsupervised models as an approach to understand MTC population structure. Updated results on the epidemiological status of spoligotypes, as well as genetic prevalence maps on six main lineages are also shown. Our results suggests the existence of fine geographical genetic clines within MTC populations, that could mirror the passed and present Homo sapiens sapiens demographical and mycobacterial co-evolutionary history whose structure could be further reconstructed and modelled, thereby providing a large-scale conceptual framework of the global TB Epidemiologic Network.
Our results broaden the knowledge of the global phylogeography of the MTC complex. SpolDB4 should be a very useful tool to better define the identity of a given MTC clinical isolate, and to better analyze the links between its current spreading and previous evolutionary history. The building and mining of extended MTC polymorphic genetic databases is in progress.
PMCID: PMC1468417  PMID: 16519816
12.  Mycobacterium tuberculosis spoligotypes and drug susceptibility pattern of isolates from tuberculosis patients in peri-urban Kampala, Uganda 
The poor peri-urban areas of developing countries with inadequate living conditions and a high prevalence of HIV infection have been implicated in the increase of tuberculosis (TB). Presence of different lineages of Mycobacterium tuberculosis has been described in different parts of the world. This study determined the predominant strain lineages that cause TB in Rubaga division, Kampala, Uganda, and the prevalence of resistance to key anti-tuberculosis drugs in this community.
This was a cross-sectional study of newly diagnosed sputum smear-positive patients aged ≥ 18 years. A total of 344 isolates were genotyped by standard spoligotyping and the strains were compared with those in the international spoligotype database (SpolDB4). HIV testing and anti-tuberculosis drug susceptibility assays for isoniazid and rifampicin were performed and association with the most predominant spoligotypes determined.
A total of 33 clusters were obtained from 57 spoligotype patterns. According to the SpolDB4 database, 241 (70%) of the isolates were of the T2 family, while CAS1-Kili (3.5%), LAM9 (2.6%), CAS1-Delhi (2.6%) were the other significant spoligotypes. Furthermore, a major spoligotype pattern of 17 (4.5%) strains characterized by lack of spacers 15–17 and 19–43 was not identified in SpolDB4. A total of 92 (26.7%) of the patients were HIV sero-positive, 176 (51.2%) sero-negative, while 76 (22.1%) of the patients did not consent to HIV testing. Resistance to isoniazid was found in 8.1% of strains, while all 15 (4.4%) strains resistant to rifampicin were multi-drug resistant. Additionally, there was no association between any strain types in the sample with either drug resistance or HIV sero-status of the patients.
The TB epidemic in Kampala is localized, mainly caused by the T2 family of strains. Strain types were neither associated with drug resistance nor HIV sero-status.
PMCID: PMC2519071  PMID: 18662405
13.  Mycobacterium tuberculosis Spoligotypes in Monterrey, Mexico▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2009;48(2):448-455.
Although tuberculosis is still a public health problem in Mexico, there is little information about the genetic characteristics of the isolates. In the present study, we analyzed by spoligotyping 180 Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates from the urban area of Monterrey, Mexico, including drug-susceptible and drug-resistant isolates. The spoligotype patterns were compared with those in the international SITVIT2 spoligotyping database. Four isolates presented spoligotype patterns not found in the database (orphan types); the rest were distributed among 44 spoligo international types (SITs). SIT53 (clade T1) and SIT119 (clade X1) were predominant and included 43 (23.8%) and 28 (15.5%) of the isolates, respectively. In order to determine if there was a dominant spoligotype in the group of multidrug-resistant isolates, 37 of them were analyzed by IS6110-based restriction fragment length polymorphism assays, and scarce clustering of strains with more than five bands was observed. Fourteen isolates of this multidrug-resistant group presented four bands or less and were distributed in four SITs: SIT53 (n = 8), SIT92 (n = 3), SIT70 (n = 2), and SIT3038 (n = 1). When the molecular detection of mutations in the katG and rpoB genes were analyzed in these isolates with low copy numbers of IS6110, only two isolates shared the same IS6110, spoligotyping, and mutations patterns. When the distribution of the spoligotypes was analyzed by age cohort, SIT119 was predominantly found in patients 0 to 20 years old, especially in males, accounting for up to 40% of the isolates. In contrast, SIT53 was more prevalent in older females. This analysis demonstrates the variability of M. tuberculosis isolates in Monterrey and the partial dominance of SIT53 and SIT119 in that area of Mexico.
PMCID: PMC2815641  PMID: 19940048
14.  Analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Genotypes in Madrid and Identification of Two New Families Specific to Spain-Related Settings 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2005;43(4):1797-1806.
In Spain, tuberculosis (TB) patterns are changing because of the recent increase in the number of cases among immigrants. To establish the composition of circulating Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains before the effects of foreign strains appear, this study focused on molecular characterization of 233 patient isolates using spoligotyping. The spoligotyping data were further analyzed using an international database, SpolDB4. The results obtained showed that the general features of the M. tuberculosis population in Spain are coherent with those of other European countries, with the Latin American and Mediterranean group, and with the Haarlem 3 and T1 families as the most prevalent genotypes. The Spanish isolates clustered mostly with genotypes which had previously been isolated in countries linked with Spain. We also describe and fully characterize two novel M. tuberculosis families, Madrid1 and Madrid2, which are specific to Spain-related settings. The data reported here provide a solid reference when monitoring changes in the composition of the M. tuberculosis population in Spain as a consequence of the increasing rate of TB in the foreign population.
PMCID: PMC1081327  PMID: 15815001
15.  Population-Based Molecular Epidemiological Study of Tuberculosis in Malatya, Turkey▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2007;45(12):4027-4035.
This investigation describes drug resistance patterns and genotyping data on a total of 145 Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains isolated between 2000 and 2004 in Malatya, Turkey. Drug susceptibility results indicated a total of 20% resistant and 4.8% of multidrug-resistant isolates. Spoligotyping resulted in 25 unique patterns and 120 strains in 19 clusters (2 to 33 strains per cluster). When the results were compared to an international spoligotyping database, 19 of 25 unique patterns matched existing shared spoligotype international types (SITs). This led to the description of 38 SITs with 139 strains and 6 orphan patterns (not previously reported). Five of the SITs (SIT759, SIT1936, SIT1937, SIT1938, and SIT2285) were newly created. The most prevalent spoligotype was SIT41 (LAM7-TUR) with 33 (23.9%) isolates. The repartition of strains according to major M. tuberculosis clades (in decreasing order) was as follows: ill-defined T clade (45.7%) > Latin American and Mediterranean (LAM; 29%) > Haarlem (15.9%). Strains belonging to Central Asian (CAS), East-African Indian (EAI), Beijing, and Africanum clades were absent in this setting. IS6110-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) resulted in 19 clusters (52 strains), with a final clustering rate of 35.9% and a recent transmission rate of 22.8%. Typing based on mycobacterial interspersed repetitive units (MIRUs) permitted us to identify 65 patterns (23 orphan patterns and 42 patterns that matched existing MIRU international types in an updated database). The combination of the three typing methods allowed us to calculate a final clustering rate of 22% and a significantly lower transmission rate of 13.1%. The discrimination achieved by IS6110-RFLP/MIRUs was not significantly improved by adding spoligotyping results (1.4%). We conclude that our patient population is infected by diverse M. tuberculosis populations; however, the majority of the ongoing transmission is due to “evolutionary recent” tuberculosis lineages belonging to principal genetic group 2 (PGG2; Haarlem and LAM) and PGG3 (ill-defined T clade), and most of it is attributable to the LAM7-TUR sublineage with an enhanced phylogeographical specificity for Turkey. An absence of lineages belonging to PGG1 clones (EAI, CAS, and Beijing, essentially found in Central, South, and Southeast Asia), is noteworthy.
PMCID: PMC2168580  PMID: 17928426
16.  Unexpectedly High Proportion of Ancestral Manu Genotype Mycobacterium tuberculosis Strains Cultured from Tuberculosis Patients in Egypt ▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2009;47(9):2794-2801.
Tuberculosis is one of the important public health problems in Egypt. However, limited information on the Mycobacterium tuberculosis genotypes circulating in Egypt is available. A total of 151 M. tuberculosis strains were characterized by spoligotyping. The results revealed that 74.8% of M. tuberculosis isolates grouped into 13 different clusters, while 25.2% had unique spoligotype patterns. Comparison with an international spoligotyping database (the SITVIT2 database) showed that types SIT53 (T1 variant) and SIT54 (Manu2 variant) were the most common types between cluster groups. In addition, new shared types SIT2977, SIT2978, and SIT2979 were observed. The results identified for the first time an unusually high proportion of ancestral Manu strains of M. tuberculosis from patients in Egypt. The percentage of the Manu clade in this study (27.15%) was significantly higher than its overall representation of 0.4% in the SITVIT2 database. We show that in Egypt tuberculosis is caused by a predominant M. tuberculosis genotype belonging to the ancestral Manu lineage which could be a missing link in the split between ancestral and modern tubercle bacilli during the evolution of M. tuberculosis.
PMCID: PMC2738058  PMID: 19553569
17.  SpolPred: rapid and accurate prediction of Mycobacterium tuberculosis spoligotypes from short genomic sequences 
Bioinformatics  2012;28(22):2991-2993.
Summary: Spoligotyping is a well-established genotyping technique based on the presence of unique DNA sequences in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causal agent of tuberculosis disease (TB). Although advances in sequencing technologies are leading to whole-genome bacterial characterization, tens of thousands of isolates have been spoligotyped, giving a global view of Mtb strain diversity. To bridge the gap, we have developed SpolPred, a software to predict the spoligotype from raw sequence reads. Our approach is compared with experimentally and de novo assembly determined strain types in a set of 44 Mtb isolates. In silico and experimental results are identical for almost all isolates (39/44). However, SpolPred detected five experimentally false spoligotypes and was more accurate and faster than the assembling strategy. Application of SpolPred to an additional seven isolates with no laboratory data led to types that clustered with identical experimental types in a phylogenetic analysis using single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Our results demonstrate the usefulness of the tool and its role in revealing experimental limitations.
Availability and implementation: SpolPred is written in C and is available from
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics Online.
PMCID: PMC3496340  PMID: 23014632
18.  First Molecular Epidemiology Study of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Burkina Faso▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2007;45(3):921-927.
We conducted a molecular epidemiology study on 120 Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from patients presenting pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) in Burkina Faso. Classical antibiogram studies and genetic characterization, using mycobacterial interspersed repetitive-unit-variable-number tandem-repeat (MIRU-VNTR) typing and spoligotyping, were applied after culture. Molecular analysis of specific signatures showed that all TB cases reported in this study were caused by M. tuberculosis and identified no Mycobacterium bovis or Mycobacterium africanum isolates. This result is unexpected, as M. africanum strains were reportedly the etiologic agent in 20% of TB cases 2 decades ago. The comparison of spoligotypes from Burkina Faso with an international spoligotype database (SpolDB4) showed that the majority of isolates belong to major clades of M. tuberculosis (Haarlem, 9%; Latin American-Mediterranean, 30%; and T, 20%). The predominant group of isolates (30%) corresponds to spoligotype 61, described in Cameroon as the “Cameroon family.” In Burkina Faso, as in Cameroon, this family could be associated with recent transmission of TB, suggesting a recent expansion in West Africa. Our data suggest a low level of primary drug resistance that may be a positive result of the Directly Observed Therapy Shortcourse program. Besides, based on spoligotyping plus MIRU-VNTR, data showed a high number of clusters in our sample, suggesting a high level of recent TB transmission in Burkina Faso. Nevertheless, an important genetic polymorphism was observed in this country, reflecting an endemicity situation where the control of TB would have less impact in the main towns.
PMCID: PMC1829100  PMID: 17251410
19.  Molecular typing of mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates circulating in Jiangsu Province, China 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2011;11:288.
Globally, China is the second place with high burden of tuberculosis (TB). To explore the characteristics of the pathogens of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) circulating in this area is helpful for understanding and controlling the spread of the strains. Recent developments in molecular biology have allowed prompt identification and tracking specific strains of MTB spreading through the population.
Spacer-oligonucleotide typing (spoligotyping) and mycobacterial interspersed repetitive units variable number tandem repeat (MIRU-VNTR) were performed in combination to yield specific genetic profiles of 260 MTB strains isolated from 30 counties of Jiangsu province in China between June and July 2010. The spoligotyping results were in comparison to the world Spoligotyping Database of Institute Pasteur de Guadeloupe (SpolDB4). Drug susceptibility test (DST) was performed on all strains by proportion method on Lowenstein-Jensen (LJ) culture media.
Based on the spoligotyping method, 246 strains displayed known patterns and 14 were absent in the database. Predominant spoligotypes belonged to the Beijing family (80.4%). By using the 24-loci VNTR typing scheme, 224 different patterns were identified, including 20 clusters and 204 unique patterns. The largest clade comprised 195 strains belonging to the Beijing family. The combination of spoligotyping and 24-loci MIRU-VNTR demonstrated maximal discriminatory power. Furthermore, we observed a significant association between Beijing family strains and drug-resistant phenotypes. The Beijing family strains presented increased risks for developing multi-drug resistant TB, with the OR (95% CI) of 11.07(1.45-84.50).
The present study demonstrated that Beijing family isolates were the most prevalent strains circulating in Jiangsu province of China. The utility of spoligotyping in combination with 24-loci MIRU-VNTR might be a useful tool for epidemiological analysis of MTB transmission.
PMCID: PMC3215657  PMID: 22026819
20.  Genetic diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex in Jos, Nigeria 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:189.
Nigeria has a high tuberculosis incidence, and genotyping studies of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex (MTC) in the country are necessary in order to improve our understanding of the epidemic.
Isolates of MTC were isolated from cases of pulmonary tuberculosis in Jos, North Central region of Nigeria during 2006-2008. Drug susceptibility test (DST) was performed on 77 of 111 isolates by proportion method on Lowenstein Jensen (LJ) slope while genotyping of mycobacterial DNA was performed by spoligotyping. The SpolDB4 database and the model-based program 'spotclust' were used to assign isolates to families, subfamilies and variants.
A total of 111 pulmonary isolates from consecutive tuberculosis patients in the city of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria were spoligotyped. A total of 84 (76%) of the isolates belonged to the Latin American Mediterranean (LAM) family. Of these, 78 isolates were assigned to the LAM10 lineage. Among these, 66 exhibited identical spoligopatterns. Drug susceptibility profiles obtained were not consistently associated with any spoligopattern.
The dominance of few M. tuberculosis lineages suggests either a high rate of transmission, frequent import of closely related strains, or a highly conserved genotype. It remains to be confirmed whether the predominance of identical LAM10 represent an outbreak.
Spoligotyping was useful to gain an overall understanding of the local TB epidemic. This study demonstrated that the incidence of TB in Jos, Nigeria may be caused by a few successful M. tuberculosis families, dominated by the LAM10 family.
PMCID: PMC2902480  PMID: 20579382
21.  Spoligologos: A Bioinformatic Approach to Displaying and Analyzing Mycobacterium tuberculosis Data 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2002;8(11):1306-1309.
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.
PMCID: PMC2738554  PMID: 12453361
tuberculosis; DNA fingerprinting; bioinformatics; spoligotyping
22.  Molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Taipei 
The control of tuberculosis in densely populated cities is complicated by close human-to-human contacts and potential transmission of pathogens from multiple sources. We conducted a molecular epidemiologic analysis of 356 Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) isolates from patients presenting pulmonary tuberculosis in metropolitan Taipei. Classical antibiogram studies and genetic characterization, using mycobacterial interspersed repetitive-unit-variable-number tandem-repeat (MIRU-VNTR) typing and spoligotyping, were applied after culture.
A total of 356 isolates were genotyped by standard spoligotyping and the strains were compared with in the international spoligotyping database (SpolDB4). All isolates were also categorized using the 15 loci MIRU-VNTR typing method and combin with NTF locus and RD deletion analyses.
Of 356 isolates spoligotyped, 290 (81.4%) displayed known spoligotypes and 66 were not identified in the database. Major spoligotypes found were Beijing lineages (52.5%), followed by Haarlem lineages (13.5%) and EAI plus EAI-like lineages (11%). When MIRU-VNTR was employed, 140 patterns were identified, including 36 clusters by 252 isolates and 104 unique patterns, and the largest cluster comprised 95 isolates from the Beijing family. The combination of spoligotyping and MIRU-VNTR revealed that 236 (67%) of the 356 isolates were clustered in 43 genotypes. Strains of the Beijing family was more likely to be of modern strain and a higher percentage of multiple drug resistance than other families combined (P = 0.08). Patients infected with Beijing strains were younger than those with other strains (mean 58.7 vs. 64.2, p = 0.02). Moreover, 85.3% of infected persons younger than 25 years had Beijing modern strain, suggesting a possible recent spread in the young population by this family of TB strain in Taipei.
Our data on MTB genotype in Taipei suggest that MTB infection has not been optimally controlled. Control efforts should be reinforced in view of the high prevalence of the Beijing strain in young population and association with drug resistance.
PMCID: PMC2628671  PMID: 19102768
23.  Characterization of Finnish Mycobacterium tuberculosis Isolates by Spoligotyping 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2003;41(4):1525-1528.
The molecular epidemiology of tuberculosis (TB) in Finland was studied by spoligotyping 380 Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates. The isolates were obtained during a 1-year study period from July 2000 to June 2001 and represented 90% of new M. tuberculosis findings by culture in the whole country during the study period. The spoligotyping results were compared to the World Spoligotyping Database of the Institut Pasteur de Guadeloupe, which contains data from >14,000 M. tuberculosis isolates obtained worldwide. A total of 138 different spoligotypes were identified among the 380 M. tuberculosis isolates. Thirty-eight (10%) isolates had unique spoligotypes, while 342 (90%) isolates belonged to 100 shared types. The four most common spoligotypes caused approximately one-third of the Finnish TB cases. Forty-seven of the 138 (34.1%) spoligotypes and 61 (16.1%) of the 380 M. tuberculosis isolates had spoligotypes that had not been previously reported. Only four (1.1%) patients were infected with an isolate belonging to the Beijing genotype. The characterization of Finnish M. tuberculosis isolates by spoligotyping shows that ubiquitous spoligotypes were common, but many spoligotypes specific to Finland were also found. However, Beijing family isolates were rarely encountered, although this spoligotype is predominant in our eastern and southern neighbors.
PMCID: PMC153930  PMID: 12682140
24.  Molecular diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from patients with pulmonary tuberculosis in Mozambique 
BMC Microbiology  2010;10:195.
Mozambique is one of the countries with the highest burden of tuberculosis (TB) in Sub-Saharan Africa, and information on the predominant genotypes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis circulating in the country are important to better understand the epidemic. This study determined the predominant strain lineages that cause TB in Mozambique.
A total of 445 M. tuberculosis isolates from seven different provinces of Mozambique were characterized by spoligotyping and resulting profiles were compared with the international spoligotyping database SITVIT2.
The four most predominant lineages observed were: the Latin-American Mediterranean (LAM, n = 165 or 37%); the East African-Indian (EAI, n = 132 or 29.7%); an evolutionary recent but yet ill-defined T clade, (n = 52 or 11.6%); and the globally-emerging Beijing clone, (n = 31 or 7%). A high spoligotype diversity was found for the EAI, LAM and T lineages.
The TB epidemic in Mozambique is caused by a wide diversity of spoligotypes with predominance of LAM, EAI, T and Beijing lineages.
PMCID: PMC2914001  PMID: 20663126
25.  Molecular Epidemiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Western Sweden 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2004;42(7):3046-3051.
The genetic diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates among patients from Sweden was determined by a combination of two PCR-based techniques (spoligotyping and variable number of tandem repeats analysis). It resulted in a clustering of 23.6% of the isolates and a rate of recent transmission of 14.1%. The clustered isolates mainly belonged to the Haarlem family (23.2%), followed by the Beijing (9.8%), Latin American and Mediterranean (LAM; 8%), and East African-Indian (EAI; 6.2%) families. A comparison of the spoligotypes with those in the international spoligotyping database showed that 62.5% of the clustered isolates and 36.6% of all isolates typed were grouped into six major shared types. A comparison of the spoligotypes with those in databases for Scandinavian countries showed that 33% of the isolates belonged to an ill-defined T family, followed by the EAI (22%), Haarlem (20%), LAM (11%), Central Asian (5%), X (5%), and Beijing (4%) families. Both the highest number of cases and the proportion of clustered cases were observed in patients ages 15 to 39 years. Nearly 10% of the isolates were resistant to one or more drugs (essentially limited to isoniazid monoresistance). However, none of the strains were multidrug resistant. Data on the geographic origins of the patients showed that more than two-thirds of the clustered patients with tuberculosis were foreign-born individuals or refugees. These results are explained on the basis of both the historical links within specific countries and recently imported cases of tuberculosis into Sweden.
PMCID: PMC446260  PMID: 15243058

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