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1.  Sequencing of hsp65 Distinguishes among Subsets of the Mycobacterium avium Complex 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2006;44(2):433-440.
The Mycobacterium avium complex consists of epidemiologically distinct subsets. The classification of these subsets is complicated by a number of factors, including the ambiguous results obtained with phenotypic and genetic assays and the recent appreciation that human and avian strains appear to be distinct. In previous work, sequencing based on a 441-bp portion of the hsp65 gene has proven to efficiently classify isolates within the Mycobacterium genus but provides low resolution for distinguishing among members of the M. avium complex. Therefore, in this study, we have targeted the more variable 3′ region of the hsp65 gene to determine whether it can effectively discriminate M. avium complex isolates at the levels of species and subspecies. Primers designed for this target consistently generated amplicons for all organisms classified as M. avium complex. Sequences obtained indicate that M. intracellulare is genetically divergent from M. avium organisms, and distinct sequevars were obtained for M. avium subsets, including M. avium subsp. avium (bird type), M. avium subsp. hominissuis, and M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis. In addition, sequence differences served to distinguish bovine from ovine strains of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis. A unique profile for M. avium subsp. silvaticum was not obtained. These results indicate that sequencing the 3′ region of the hsp65 gene can simply and unambiguously distinguish species and subspecies of the M. avium complex.
PMCID: PMC1392684  PMID: 16455896
2.  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
3.  Global Distribution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Spoligotypes 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2002;8(11):1347-1349.
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.
PMCID: PMC2738532  PMID: 12453368
Mycobacterium tuberculosis; spoligotyping

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