Oligonucleotide (GTG)5 as a marker for Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain identification
Culture of Mycobacterium tuberculosis provides no information on the identity of a strain or the distribution of such a strain in the community. Strain identification of M. tuberculosis can help to address important epidemiological questions, e.g., the origin of an infection in a patient's household or community, whether reactivation of infection is endogenous or exogenous in origin, and the spread and early detection of organisms with acquired antibiotic resistance. To research this problem, strain identification must be reliable and accurate. Although genetic identification techniques already exist, it is valuable to have genetic identification techniques based on a number of genetic markers to improve the accurate identification of M. tuberculosis strains. We show that oligonucleotide (GTG)5 can be successfully applied to the identification of M. tuberculosis strains. This technique may be particularly useful in cases in which M. tuberculosis strains have few or no insertion elements (e.g., IS6110) or in identifying other strains of mycobacteria when informative probes are lacking.