India has the highest estimated burden of tuberculosis in the world, accounting for 21% of all tuberculosis cases world-wide. However, due to lack of systematic analysis using multiple markers the available information on the genomic diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in India is limited.
Thus, 65 M. tuberculosis isolates from New Delhi, India were analyzed by spoligotyping, MIRU-VNTR, large deletion PCR typing and single nucleotide polymorphism analysis (SNP). The Central Asian (CAS) 1 _DELHI sub-lineage was the most prevalent sub-lineage comprising 46.2% (n = 30) of all isolates, with shared-type (ST) 26 being the most dominant genotype comprising 24.6% (n = 16) of all isolates. Other sub-lineages observed were: East-African Indian (EAI)-5 (9.2%, n = 6), EAI6_BGD1 (6.2%, n = 4), EAI3_IND, CAS and T1 with 6.2% each (n = 4 each), Beijing (4.6%, n = 3), CAS2 (3.1%, n = 2), and X1 and X2 with 1 isolate each. Genotyping results from five isolates (7.7%) did not match any existing spoligopatterns, and one isolate, ST124, belonged to an undefined lineage. Twenty-six percent of the isolates belonged to the TbD1+ PGG1 genogroup. SNP analysis of the pncA gene revealed a CAS-lineage specific silent mutation, S65S, which was observed for all CAS-lineage isolates (except two ST26 isolates) and in 1 orphan. Mutations in the pncA gene, conferring resistance to pyrazinamide, were observed in 15.4% of all isolates. Collectively, mutations in the rpoB gene, the katG gene and in both rpoB and katG genes, conferring resistance to rifampicin and isoniazid, respectively, were more frequent in CAS1_DELHI isolates compared to non-CAS_DELHI isolates (OR: 3.1, CI95% [1.11, 8.70], P = 0.045). The increased frequency of drug-resistance could not be linked to the patients' history of previous anti-tuberculosis treatment (OR: 1.156, CI95% [0.40, 3.36], P = 0.79). Fifty-six percent of all new tuberculosis patients had mutations in either the katG gene or the rpoB gene, or in both katG and rpoB genes.
CAS1_DELHI isolates circulating in New Delhi, India have a high frequency of mutations in the rpoB and katG genes. A silent mutation (S65S) in the pncA gene can be used as a putative genetic marker for CAS-lineage isolates.