Genotyping of Mycobacterium tuberculosis with additional markers enhances accuracy in epidemiological studies

Warren R. ; Richardson M. ; Sampson S. ; Hauman J.H. ; Beyers N. ; Donald P.R. ; Van Helden P.D. (1996)


Two highly polymorphic Mycobacterium tuberculosis genomic domains, characterized by hybridization to the oligonucleotide (GTG)5, were identified as potential DNA fingerprinting probes. These domains were cloned [pMTB484(1) and pMTB484(2K4), respectively] and shown to be useful for genotype analysis by Southern blotting. These probes were used to genotype geographically linked strains of M. tuberculosis previously shown to have identical IS6110 fingerprints. Subsequent DNA fingerprints generated with MTB484(1) and MTB484(2K4) showed a high degree of polymorphism, allowing subclassification of IS6110-defined clusters into composites of smaller clusters and unique strains. Correlation of the molecular data with patient interviews and clinical records confirmed the sensitivity of these probes, as contacts were established only within subclusters. These findings demonstrate the requirement for multiple probes to accurately classify M. tuberculosis strains, even those with high copy numbers of IS6110. The enhanced accuracy of strain typing should, in turn, further our understanding of the epidemiology of tuberculosis.

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