Vaccinia virus transcription is regulated in three stages. An intermediate transcription factor, comprised of virus-encoded polypeptides A8 and A23, was previously identified by in vitro analyses. To investigate its role, we engineered cells that stably expressed both subunits and complemented the replication of A8 and A23 deletion mutant viruses. Without A8 or A23, viral early gene expression and DNA replication occurred but intermediate and late gene expression and resolution of genome concatemers were not detected.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex; Mycobacterium orygis; oryx bacillus; genotyping; characterization; bacteria; tuberculosis and other mycobacteria
In most of the world, microbiologic diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) is limited to microscopy. Recent guidelines recommend culture-based diagnosis where feasible.
In order to evaluate the relative and absolute incremental diagnostic yield of culture-based diagnosis in a high-incidence community in Cape Town, South Africa, subjects evaluated for suspected TB had their samples processed for microscopy and culture over a 21 month period.
For 2537 suspect episodes with 2 smears and 2 cultures done, 20.0% (508) had at least one positive smear and 29.9% (760) had at least one positive culture. One culture yielded 1.8 times more cases as 1 smear (relative yield), or an increase of 12.0% (absolute yield). Based on the latter value, the number of cultures needed to diagnose (NND) one extra case of TB was 8, compared to 19 if second specimens were submitted for microscopy.
In a high-burden setting, the introduction of culture can markedly increase TB diagnosis over microscopy. The concept of number needed to diagnose can help in comparing incremental yield of diagnosis methods. Although new promising diagnostic molecular methods are being implemented, TB culture is still the gold standard.
Tuberculosis; Diagnosis; Culture; Microscopy
Genotyping of multidrug-resistant (MDR) Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains isolated from tuberculosis (TB) patients in four South African provinces (Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, and Gauteng) revealed a distinct population structure of the MDR strains in all four regions, despite the evidence of substantial human migration between these settings. In all analyzed provinces, a negative correlation between strain diversity and an increasing level of drug resistance (from MDR-TB to extensively drug-resistant TB [XDR-TB]) was observed. Strains predominating in XDR-TB in the Western and Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal Provinces were strongly associated with harboring an inhA promoter mutation, potentially suggesting a role of these mutations in XDR-TB development in South Africa. Approximately 50% of XDR-TB cases detected in the Western Cape were due to strains probably originating from the Eastern Cape. This situation may illustrate how failure of efficient health care delivery in one setting can burden health clinics in other areas.
We report treatment outcomes from a retrospective cohort of patients with isoniazid-monoresistant tuberculosis in rural South Africa. Sixteen percent of patients had poor outcomes, 61% of whom progressed to multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. These data reveal the need for early identification and aggressive follow-up of isoniazid monoresistance to increase treatment success.
Technology for comprehensive identification of biothreats in environmental and clinical specimens is needed to protect citizens in the case of a biological attack. This is a challenge because there are dozens of bacterial and viral species that might be used in a biological attack and many have closely related near-neighbor organisms that are harmless. The biothreat agent, along with its near neighbors, can be thought of as a biothreat cluster or a biocluster for short. The ability to comprehensively detect the important biothreat clusters with resolution sufficient to distinguish the near neighbors with an extremely low false positive rate is required. A technological solution to this problem can be achieved by coupling biothreat group-specific PCR with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (PCR/ESI-MS). The biothreat assay described here detects ten bacterial and four viral biothreat clusters on the NIAID priority pathogen and HHS/USDA select agent lists. Detection of each of the biothreat clusters was validated by analysis of a broad collection of biothreat organisms and near neighbors prepared by spiking biothreat nucleic acids into nucleic acids extracted from filtered environmental air. Analytical experiments were carried out to determine breadth of coverage, limits of detection, linearity, sensitivity, and specificity. Further, the assay breadth was demonstrated by testing a diverse collection of organisms from each biothreat cluster. The biothreat assay as configured was able to detect all the target organism clusters and did not misidentify any of the near-neighbor organisms as threats. Coupling biothreat cluster-specific PCR to electrospray ionization mass spectrometry simultaneously provides the breadth of coverage, discrimination of near neighbors, and an extremely low false positive rate due to the requirement that an amplicon with a precise base composition of a biothreat agent be detected by mass spectrometry.
This study demonstrates the excellent diagnostic accuracy of the Xpert MTB/RIF test in patients with tuberculous lymphadenitis. The test sensitivity and specificity were 96.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 86.6 to 100%) and 88.9% (95% CI, 69.6 to 100%), respectively, and it correctly identified 6/6 (100%) of the cytology smear-negative/culture-positive cases and 1 of 2 (50%) rifampin-resistant cases.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) genomes contain 2 large gene families termed pe and ppe. The function of pe/ppe proteins remains enigmatic but studies suggest that they are secreted or cell surface associated and are involved in bacterial virulence. Previous studies have also shown that some pe/ppe genes are polymorphic, a finding that suggests involvement in antigenic variation. Using comparative sequence analysis of 18 publicly available MTBC whole genome sequences, we have performed alignments of 33 pe (excluding pe_pgrs) and 66 ppe genes in order to detect the frequency and nature of genetic variation. This work has been supplemented by whole gene sequencing of 14 pe/ppe (including 5 pe_pgrs) genes in a cohort of 40 diverse and well defined clinical isolates covering all the main lineages of the M. tuberculosis phylogenetic tree. We show that nsSNP's in pe (excluding pgrs) and ppe genes are 3.0 and 3.3 times higher than in non-pe/ppe genes respectively and that numerous other mutation types are also present at a high frequency. It has previously been shown that non-pe/ppe M. tuberculosis genes display a remarkably low level of purifying selection. Here, we also show that compared to these genes those of the pe/ppe families show a further reduction of selection pressure that suggests neutral evolution. This is inconsistent with the positive selection pressure of “classical” antigenic variation. Finally, by analyzing such a large number of genes we were able to detect large differences in mutation type and frequency between both individual genes and gene sub-families. The high variation rates and absence of selective constraints provides valuable insights into potential pe/ppe function. Since pe/ppe proteins are highly antigenic and have been studied as potential vaccine components these results should also prove informative for aspects of M. tuberculosis vaccine design.
Accurate quantification of mycobacterial load is important for the evaluation of patient infectiousness, disease severity and monitoring treatment response in human and in-vitro laboratory models of disease. We hypothesized that newer techniques would perform as well as solid media culture to quantify mycobacterial burden in laboratory specimens.
We compared the turn-around-time, detection-threshold, dynamic range, reproducibility, relative discriminative ability, of 4 mycobacterial load determination techniques: automated liquid culture (BACTEC-MGIT-960), [3H]-uracil incorporation assays, luciferase-reporter construct bioluminescence, and quantitative PCR(Xpert -MTB/RIF) using serial dilutions of Mycobacterium bovis and Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37RV. Mycobacterial colony-forming-units(CFU) using 7H10-Middlebrook solid media served as the reference standard.
All 4 assays correlated well with the reference standard, however, bioluminescence and uracil assays had a detection threshold ≥1×103 organisms. By contrast, BACTEC-MGIT-960 liquid culture, although only providing results in days, was user-friendly, had the lowest detection threshold (<10 organisms), the greatest discriminative ability (1 vs. 10 organisms; p = 0.02), and the best reproducibility (coefficient of variance of 2% vs. 38% compared to uracil incorporation; p = 0.02). Xpert-MTB/RIF correlated well with mycobacterial load, had a rapid turn-around-time (<2 hours), was user friendly, but had a detection limit of ∼100 organisms.
Choosing a technique to quantify mycobacterial burden for laboratory or clinical research depends on availability of resources and the question being addressed. Automated liquid culture has good discriminative ability and low detection threshold but results are only obtained in days. Xpert MTB/RIF provides rapid quantification of mycobacterial burden, but has a poorer discrimination and detection threshold.
The Beijing strain is one of the most successful genotypes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis worldwide and appears to be highly homogenous according to existing genotyping methods. To type Beijing strains reliably we developed a robust typing scheme using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and regions of difference (RDs) derived from whole-genome sequencing data of eight Beijing strains. SNP/RD typing of 259 M. tuberculosis isolates originating from 45 countries worldwide discriminated 27 clonal complexes within the Beijing genotype family. A total of 16 Beijing clonal complexes contained more than one isolate of known origin, of which two clonal complexes were strongly associated with South African origin. The remaining 14 clonal complexes encompassed isolates from different countries. Even highly resolved clonal complexes comprised isolates from distinct geographical sites. Our results suggest that Beijing strains spread globally on multiple occasions and that the tuberculosis epidemic caused by the Beijing genotype is at least partially driven by modern migration patterns. The SNPs and RDs presented in this study will facilitate future molecular epidemiological and phylogenetic studies on Beijing strains.
The Beijing genotype of M. tuberculosis is a virulent strain that is disseminating worldwide and has a strong association with drug resistance. In the Western Cape of South Africa, epidemiological studies have identified the R220 cluster of the Beijing genotype as a major contributor to a recent outbreak of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Although the outbreak is considered to be due to clonal transmission, the relationship among drug resistant isolates has not yet been established.
To better understand the evolution of drug resistance among these strains, 14 drug-resistant clinical isolates of the Beijing genotype were sequenced by whole-genome sequencing, including eight from R220 and six from a more ancestral Beijing cluster, R86, for comparison. While each cluster shares a distinct resistance mutation for isoniazid, mapping of other drug-resistance mutations onto a phylogenetic tree constructed from single nucleotide polymorphisms shows that resistance mutations to many drugs have arisen multiple times independently within each cluster of isolates. Thus, drug resistance among these isolates appears to be acquired, not clonally derived. This observation suggests that, although the Beijing genotype as a whole might have selective advantages enabling its rapid dissemination, the XDR isolates are relatively less fit and do not propagate well. Although it has been hypothesized that the increased frequency of drug resistance in some Beijing lineages might be caused by a mutator phenotype, no significant shift in synonymous substitution patterns is observed in the genomes.
While MDR-TB is spreading by transmission in the Western Cape, our data suggests that further drug resistance (i.e. XDR-TB) at this stage is acquired.
Precise annotation of genes or open reading frames is still a difficult task that results in divergence even for data generated from the same genomic sequence. This has an impact in further proteomic studies, and also compromises the characterization of clinical isolates with many specific genetic variations that may not be represented in the selected database. We recently developed software called multistrain mass spectrometry prokaryotic database builder (MSMSpdbb) that can merge protein databases from several sources and be applied on any prokaryotic organism, in a proteomic-friendly approach. We generated a database for the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (using three strains of Mycobacterium bovis and five of M. tuberculosis), and analyzed data collected from two laboratory strains and two clinical isolates of M. tuberculosis. We identified 2561 proteins, of which 24 were present in M. tuberculosis H37Rv samples, but not annotated in the M. tuberculosis H37Rv genome. We were also able to identify 280 nonsynonymous single amino acid polymorphisms and confirm 367 translational start sites. As a proof of concept we applied the database to whole-genome DNA sequencing data of one of the clinical isolates, which allowed the validation of 116 predicted single amino acid polymorphisms and the annotation of 131 N-terminal start sites. Moreover we identified regions not present in the original M. tuberculosis H37Rv sequence, indicating strain divergence or errors in the reference sequence. In conclusion, we demonstrated the potential of using a merged database to better characterize laboratory or clinical bacterial strains.
The occurrence of mixed infections of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is no longer disputed. However, their frequency, and the impact they may have on our understanding of tuberculosis (TB) pathogenesis and epidemiology, remains undetermined. Most previous studies of frequency applied genotyping techniques to cultured M. tuberculosis isolates and found mixed infections to be rare. PCR-based techniques may be more sensitive for detecting multiple M. tuberculosis strains and can be applied to sputum. To date, one study in South Africa has used a PCR approach and suggested that mixed infection could be common. We investigated mixed infections in northern Malawi using two lineage-specific PCR assays targeting the Latin American-Mediterranean (LAM) and Beijing lineages. Compared with spoligotyping, the specificity and sensitivity of both assays was 100%. From 160 culture-positive sputa, mixed LAM and non-LAM strains were detected in 4 sputa belonging to 2 (2.8%) patients. Both patients were HIV positive, with no history of TB. Cultured isolates from both patients showed only LAM by PCR and spoligotyping. In a set of 377 cultured isolates, 4 were mixed LAM and non-LAM. Only one showed evidence of more than one M. tuberculosis strain using IS6110-based restriction fragment length polymorphism (IS6110-RFLP) and spoligotyping analyses. Corresponding sputa for the 4 isolates were unavailable. Mixed Beijing and non-Beijing strains were not detected in this study. Mixed infections appear to be rare in our setting and are unlikely to affect findings based on DNA fingerprinting data. Molecular methods, which avoid the selective nature of culture and target distinct strains, are well suited to detection of mixed infections.
Seven outbreaks involving increasing numbers of banded mongoose troops and high death rates have been documented. We identified a Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex pathogen, M. mungi sp. nov., as the causative agent among banded mongooses that live near humans in Chobe District, Botswana. Host spectrum and transmission dynamics remain unknown.
Tuberculosis; Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex; Mycobacterium mungi; banded mongoose; human–wildlife interface; wildlife; dassie bacillius; tuberculosis and other mycobacteria; dispatch
Although the genome of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv laboratory strain has been available for over 10 years, it is only recently that genomic information from clinical isolates has been used to generate the hypothesis of virulence differences between different strains. In addition, the relationship between strains displaying differing virulence in an epidemiological setting and their behavior in animal models has received little attention. The potential causes for variation in virulence between strains, as determined by differential protein expression, have similarly been a neglected area of investigation. In this study, we used a label-free quantitative proteomics approach to estimate differences in protein abundance between two closely related Beijing genotypes that have been shown to be hyper- and hypovirulent on the basis of both epidemiological and mouse model studies. We were able to identify a total of 1668 proteins from both samples, and protein abundance calculations revealed that 48 proteins were over-represented in the hypovirulent isolate, whereas 53 were over-represented in the hypervirulent. Functional classification of these results shows that molecules of cell wall organization and DNA transcription regulatory proteins may have a critical influence in defining the level of virulence. The reduction in the presence of ESAT-6, other Esx-like proteins, and FbpD (MPT51) in the hypervirulent strain indicates that changes in the repertoire of highly immunogenic proteins can be a defensive process undertaken by the virulent cell. In addition, most of the previously well characterized gene targets related to virulence were found to be similarly expressed in our model. Our data support the use of proteomics as a complementary tool for genomic comparisons to understand the biology of M. tuberculosis virulence.
Improved infection control, rapid diagnostic tools, enhanced screening strategies, and pharmacokinetic studies are needed.
We investigated the emergence and evolution of drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) in an HIV co-infected population at a South African gold mine with a well-functioning TB control program. Of 128 patients with drug-resistant TB diagnosed during January 2003–November 2005, a total of 77 had multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB, 26 had pre–extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR TB), and 5 had XDR TB. Genotyping suggested ongoing transmission of drug-resistant TB, and contact tracing among case-patients in the largest cluster demonstrated multiple possible points of contact. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated stepwise evolution of drug resistance, despite stringent treatment adherence. These findings suggested that existing TB control measures were inadequate to control the spread of drug-resistant TB in this HIV co-infected population. Diagnosis delay and inappropriate therapy facilitated disease transmission and drug-resistance. These data call for improved infection control measures, implementation of rapid diagnostics, enhanced active screening strategies, and pharmacokinetic studies to determine optimal dosages and treatment regimens.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis; extensively drug-resistant TB; XDR TB; MDR TB; transmission; molecular epidemiology; DOTS; tuberculosis and other mycobacteria; South Africa; research
The long-term persistence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in communities with high tuberculosis prevalence is a serious problem aggravated by the presence of drug-resistant tuberculosis strains. Drug resistance in an individual patient is often discovered only after a long delay, particularly if the diagnosis is based on current culture-based drug sensitivity testing methods. During such delays, the patient may transmit tuberculosis to his or her contacts. Rapid diagnosis of drug resistance would be expected to reduce this transmission and hence to decrease the prevalence of drug-resistant strains. To investigate this quantitatively, a mathematical model was constructed, assuming a homogeneous population structure typical of communities in South Africa where tuberculosis incidence is high. Computer simulations performed with this model showed that current control strategies will not halt the spread of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in such communities. The simulations showed that the rapid diagnosis of drug resistance can be expected to reduce the incidence of drug-resistant cases provided the additional measure of screening within the community is implemented.
PPE38 (Rv2352c) is a member of the large PPE gene family of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and related mycobacteria. The function of PPE proteins is unknown but evidence suggests that many are cell-surface associated and recognised by the host immune system. Previous studies targeting other PPE gene members suggest that some display high levels of polymorphism and it is thought that this might represent a means of providing antigenic variation. We have analysed the genetic variability of the PPE38 genomic region on a cohort of M. tuberculosis clinical isolates representing all of the major phylogenetic lineages, along with the ancestral M. tuberculosis complex (MTBC) member M. canettii, and supplemented this with analysis of publicly available whole genome sequences representing additional M. tuberculosis clinical isolates, other MTBC members and non tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM). Where possible we have extended this analysis to include the adjacent plcABC and PPE39/40 genomic regions.
We show that the ancestral MTBC PPE38 region comprises 2 homologous PPE genes (PPE38 and PPE71), separated by 2 esat-6 (esx)-like genes and that this structure derives from an esx/esx/PPE duplication in the common ancestor of M. tuberculosis and M. marinum. We also demonstrate that this region of the genome is hypervariable due to frequent IS6110 integration, IS6110-associated recombination, and homologous recombination and gene conversion events between PPE38 and PPE71. These mutations result in combinations of gene deletion, gene truncation and gene disruption in the majority of clinical isolates. These mutations were generally found to be IS6110 strain lineage-specific, although examples of additional within-lineage and even within-cluster mutations were observed. Furthermore, we provide evidence that the published M. tuberculosis H37Rv whole genome sequence is inaccurate regarding this region.
Our results show that this antigen-encoding region of the M. tuberculosis genome is hypervariable. The observation that numerous different mutations have become fixed within specific lineages demonstrates that this genomic region is undergoing rapid molecular evolution and that further lineage-specific evolutionary expansion and diversification has occurred subsequent to the lineage-defining mutational events. We predict that functional loss of these genes could aid immune evasion. Finally, we also show that the PPE38 region of the published M. tuberculosis H37Rv whole genome sequence is not representative of the ATCC H37Rv reference strain.
The Latin American-Mediterranean (LAM) family of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is believed to be the cause of ∼15% of tuberculosis cases worldwide. Previously, we defined a prevalent sublineage of the LAM family in Brazil by a single characteristic genomic deletion designated RDRio. Using the Brazilian strains, we pinpoint an Ag85C103 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (screened by restriction fragment length polymorphism [RFLP] analysis) that correctly identified all LAM family strains. Importantly, all RDRio strains concomitantly possessed the RD174 deletion. These genetic signatures, along with a newly developed multiplex PCR for rapid differentiation between “wild-type” and RDRio strains, were then used to analyze an international collection of M. tuberculosis strains. RDRio M. tuberculosis was identified from four continents involving 11 countries. Phylogenetic analysis of the IS6110-RFLP patterns from representative RDRio and LAM strains from Brazil, along with all representative clusters from a South African database, confirmed their genetic relatedness and transcontinental transmission. The Ag85C103 SNP RFLP, as compared to results obtained using a PCR method targeting a LAM-restricted IS6110 element, correctly identified 99.8% of LAM spoligotype strains. Together, these tests were more accurate than spoligotyping at categorizing strains with indefinable spoligotypes and segregated true LAM strains from those with convergent spoligotypes. The fact that RDRio strains were identified worldwide highlights the importance of this LAM family sublineage and suggests that this strain is a global threat that should be specifically targeted by public health resources. Our provision of simple and robust molecular methods will assist the evaluation of the LAM family and the RDRio sublineage.
Both tuberculous and non-tuberculous mycobacteria can cause infection in nonhuman primates (NHP), indicating the existence of potential zoonotic transmission between these animals and visitors to zoos or animal handlers in primate facilities. Screening of mycobacterial infections in NHP is traditionally done by tuberculin skin test (TST), which is unable to distinguish between pathogenic and non-pathogenic mycobacterial infections. In this study, we investigated the use of ESAT-6 and CFP-10 for detection of mycobacterial infections in a wild-caught baboon colony after one baboon died of tuberculosis (TB).
Peripheral blood lymphocytes for interferon-gamma enzyme-linked immunospot assay (IFN-γ ELISPOT) assay were obtained from TST positive baboons and those in contact with tuberculous baboons before being euthanased, autopsied and lung tissues taken for histology and mycobacterial culture.
Both ESAT-6 and CFP-10 IFN-γ ELISPOT assays were able to detect early M. tuberculosis but also M. intracellulare infection. Although this indicates potential cross-reactivity with M. intracellulare antigens, the method was able to distinguish M. bovis BCG vaccination from M. tuberculosis infection. This assay performed better than the TST, which failed to detect one M. tuberculosis and two early M. intracellulare infections.
These results suggest that the IFN-γ ELISPOT assay could improve the detection of M tuberculosis infections when screening NHP. There is some doubt, however, concerning specificity, as the assay scored positive three animals infected with M. intracellulare.
In many communities where TB occurs at high incidence, the major force driving the epidemic is transmission. It is plausible that the typical long delay from the onset of infectious disease to diagnosis and commencement of treatment is almost certainly the major factor contributing to the high rate of transmission.
This study is confined to communities which are epidemiologically relatively isolated and which have low HIV incidence. The consequences of delays to diagnosis are analyzed and the existence of a threshold delay value is demonstrated. It is shown that unless a sufficient number of cases are detected before this threshold, the epidemic will escalate. The method used for the analysis avoids the standard computer integration of systems of differential equations since the intention is to present a line of reasoning that reveals the essential dynamics of an epidemic in an intuitively clear way that is nevertheless quantitatively realistic.
The analysis presented here shows that typical delays to diagnosis present a major obstacle to the control of a TB epidemic. Control can be achieved by optimizing the rapid identification of TB cases together with measures to increase the threshold value. A calculated and aggressive program is therefore necessary in order to bring about a reduction in the prevalence of TB in a community by decreasing the time to diagnosis in all its ramifications. Intervention strategies to increase the threshold value relative to the time to diagnosis and which thereby decrease disease incidence are discussed.
The PE and PPE multigene families of Mycobacterium tuberculosis comprise about 10% of the coding potential of the genome. The function of the proteins encoded by these large gene families remains unknown, although they have been proposed to be involved in antigenic variation and disease pathogenesis. Interestingly, some members of the PE and PPE families are associated with the ESAT-6 (esx) gene cluster regions, which are regions of immunopathogenic importance, and encode a system dedicated to the secretion of members of the potent T-cell antigen ESAT-6 family. This study investigates the duplication characteristics of the PE and PPE gene families and their association with the ESAT-6 gene clusters, using a combination of phylogenetic analyses, DNA hybridization, and comparative genomics, in order to gain insight into their evolutionary history and distribution in the genus Mycobacterium.
The results showed that the expansion of the PE and PPE gene families is linked to the duplications of the ESAT-6 gene clusters, and that members situated in and associated with the clusters represent the most ancestral copies of the two gene families. Furthermore, the emergence of the repeat protein PGRS and MPTR subfamilies is a recent evolutionary event, occurring at defined branching points in the evolution of the genus Mycobacterium. These gene subfamilies are thus present in multiple copies only in the members of the M. tuberculosis complex and close relatives. The study provides a complete analysis of all the PE and PPE genes found in the sequenced genomes of members of the genus Mycobacterium such as M. smegmatis, M. avium paratuberculosis, M. leprae, M. ulcerans, and M. tuberculosis.
This work provides insight into the evolutionary history for the PE and PPE gene families of the mycobacteria, linking the expansion of these families to the duplications of the ESAT-6 (esx) gene cluster regions, and showing that they are composed of subgroups with distinct evolutionary (and possibly functional) differences.
Rationale: Multiple infections with different strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis may occur in settings where the infection pressure is high. The relevance of mixed infections for the patient, clinician, and control program remains unclear. Objectives: This study aimed to describe reinfection and mixed infection as underlying mechanisms of changing drug-susceptibility patterns in serial sputum cultures. Methods: Serial M. tuberculosis sputum cultures from patients diagnosed with multi-drug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis were evaluated by phenotypic drug-susceptibility testing and mutation detection methods. Genotypic analysis was done by IS6110 DNA fingerprinting and a novel strain-specific polymerase chain reaction amplification method. Measurements and Main Results: DNA fingerprinting analysis of serial sputum cultures from 48 patients with MDR tuberculosis attributed 10 cases to reinfection and 1 case to mixed infection. In contrast, strain-specific polymerase chain reaction amplification analysis in 9 of the 11 cases demonstrated mixed infection in 5 cases, reinfection in 3 cases, and laboratory contamination in 1 case. Analysis of clinical data suggests that first-line therapy can select for a resistant subpopulation, whereas poor adherence or second-line therapy resulted in the reemergence of the drug-susceptible subpopulations. Conclusions: We have shown that, in some patients with MDR tuberculosis, mixed infection may be responsible for observations attributed to reinfection by DNA fingerprinting. We conclude that treatment and adherence determines which strain is dominant. We hypothesize that treatment with second-line drugs may lead to reemergence of the drug-susceptible strain in patients with mixed infection.
drug resistance; mixed infections; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; reinfection
Concern has been raised about the efficacy of the heat killing of mycobacteria during the isolation of DNA. We demonstrate a method that allows for the efficient killing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis without compromising DNA integrity for subsequent molecular investigation. This method reduces the risk of infection to the research scientist.
Furin catalyzes the proteolytic maturation of many proproteins within the trans-Golgi network (TGN)/endosomal system. Furin's cytosolic domain (cd) directs both the compartmentalization to and transit between its manifold processing compartments (i.e., TGN/biosynthetic pathway, cell surface, and endosomes). Here we report the identification of the first furin cd sorting protein, ABP-280 (nonmuscle filamin), an actin gelation protein. The furin cd was used as bait in a yeast two-hybrid screen to identify ABP-280 as a furin-binding protein. Binding analyses in vitro and coimmunoprecipitation studies in vivo showed that furin and ABP-280 interact directly and that ABP-280 tethers furin molecules to the cell surface. Quantitative analysis of both ABP-280-deficient and genetically replete cells showed that ABP-280 modulates the rate of internalization of furin but not of the transferrin receptor, a cycling receptor. However, although ABP-280 directs the rate of furin internalization, the efficiency of sorting of the endoprotease from the cell surface to early endosomes is independent of expression of ABP-280. By contrast, efficient sorting of furin from early endosomes to the TGN requires expression of ABP-280. In addition, ABP-280 is also required for the correct localization of late endosomes (dextran bead uptake) and lysosomes (LAMP-1 staining), demonstrating a pleio-tropic role for this actin binding protein in the organization of cellular compartments and directing protein traffic. Finally, and consistent with the trafficking studies on furin, we showed that ABP-280 modulates the processing of furin substrates in the endocytic but not the biosynthetic pathways. The novel roles of ABP-280 and the cytoskeleton in the sorting of furin in the TGN/endosomal system and the formation of proprotein processing compartments are discussed.