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1.  Molecular Epidemiology of Mycobacterium abscessus, with Focus on Cystic Fibrosis▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2007;45(5):1497-1504.
Mycobacterium abscessus has been isolated increasingly often from the respiratory tracts of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. It is not known whether these organisms are transmitted from person to person or acquired from environmental sources. Here, colony morphology and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern were examined for 71 isolates of M. abscessus derived from 14 CF patients, three non-CF patients with chronic respiratory M. abscessus infection or colonization, one patient with mastoiditis, and four patients with infected wounds, as well as for six isolates identified as environmental contaminants in various clinical specimens. Contaminants and wound isolates mainly exhibited smooth colony morphology, while a rough colony phenotype was significantly associated with chronic airway colonization (P = 0.014). Rough strains may exhibit increased airway-colonizing capacity, the cause of which remains to be determined. Examination by PFGE of consecutive isolates from the same patient showed that they all represented a single strain, even in cases where both smooth and rough isolates were present. When PFGE patterns were compared, it was shown that 24 patients had unique strains, while four patients harbored strains indistinguishable by PFGE. Two of these were siblings with CF. The other two patients, one of whom had CF, had not had contact with each other or with the siblings. Our results show that most patients colonized by M. abscessus in the airways have unique strains, indicating that these strains derive from the environment and that patient-to-patient transmission rarely occurs.
PMCID: PMC1865885  PMID: 17376883
2.  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
3.  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
4.  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
5.  Serological Study of Nocardia by Using Mycobacterial Precipitation Reference Systems 
Journal of Bacteriology  1973;113(1):1-7.
Forty-six nocardia strains and ten strains labeled “Mycobacterium” were analyzed with the comparative immunodiffusion technique, employing as reference material nine mycobacterial precipitation systems, each one representing a different species. Three precipitinogens were common for many of the tested strains and the mycobacterial reference strains. The serological analyses indicated the possibility of differentiating two groups within Nocardia depending on the characteristics of one of the common precipitinogens. Five of eight tested Nocardia farcinica strains showed a serologically close relationship with the mycobacteria and might be regarded as belonging to this genus. The “M.” pellegrino and “M.” rhodochrous strains, however, did not react with the antimycobacterial sera to a higher degree than did the tested nocardia strains.
PMCID: PMC251594  PMID: 4630513

Results 1-5 (5)