The molecular epidemiology of mycobacterium tuberculosis : role in understanding disease dynamics in high prevalence settings in Southern Africa region

Chihota, Violet (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2011-03)

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The tuberculosis (TB) incidence has increased in Southern Africa and the situation is worsened by the emergence of drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains. Molecular biological techniques have been used to understand the disease dynamics of TB. In a series of studies we describe the use of these techniques to understand the disease dynamics of TB in Southern Africa. Using spoligotyping and IS6110-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) to characterize M. tuberculosis strains from TB patients in Zimbabwe, we identified a genotype causing a disproportionate number of TB cases. The genotype belonged to the Latin American Mediterranean (LAM) lineage and we named it the Southern Africa1 (SAF1) family and later renamed it SAF1/RDRio, also reflecting its predominance in South America. To establish if this family of strains was predominant elsewhere in Southern Africa, genotypes were compared to those from Western Cape, South Africa and Zambia. The SAF1/RDRio strains were highly prevalent in Zambia but were only a minor fraction of the strains in South Africa. The geographical distribution of SAF1/RDRio strains was determined in Gweru, Zimbabwe, and was found to be spread in high incidence areas. From these two studies it was hypothesized that certain host and bacterial factors were associated with disease due to SAF1/RDRio. Subsequently potential risk factors and clinical outcomes of disease due to SAF1/RDRio strains were explored. An association was found with smoking and cavitary pulmonary disease suggesting that SAF1/RDRio caused a more severe and highly transmissible formof TB Using IS6110-RFLP, principal genetic grouping, spoligotyping, IS6110 insertion-site mapping and variable-number tandem repeats (VNTR) typing, low IS6110 copy clade (LCC) identified in Zimbabwe were characterized and compared to the strains from Cape Town, South Africa and other regions. The LCC strains from Cape Town, South Africa, were found to have close evolutionary relationship with strains from Zimbabwe and other regions and were widely distributed suggesting they play an important role in the global TB epidemic. Observations from these studies and those from other studies led to the hypothesis that specific genotypes of M. tuberculosis predominate in regions of Southern Africa. To gain an insight on the population structure of M. tuberculosis strains in Southern Africa, spoligotyping and/or IS6110-RFLP data from eight countries were compared. This is the first study to describe the M. tuberculosis population structure in Southern Africa. Distinct genotypes were associated with specific geographic regions. These findings have important implications for TB diagnostics, anti-TB drug and vaccine development. The population structure of multidrug-resistant (MDR), pre-extensively drug-resistant (pre-XDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) M. tuberculosis isolates from provinces in South Africa was also determined. This is again the first study to describe the population structure of drug-resistant M. tuberculosis in South Africa. The results also showed geographic localization of genotypes and an association with resistance class. However, decreasing strain diversity was observed as the isolates evolved from MDR-TB to XDR-TB suggesting selection for the specific genotypes. These findings highlight the importance of identifying genetic markers in drug-resistant strains, to enhance early detection of those at risk of developing XDR-TB.

AFIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die voorkoms van tuberkulose (TB) in Suider Afrika word vererger deur stamme van Mycobacterium tuberculosis wat weerstandig is teen die beskikbare anti-tuberkulose middels. Molekulêre tegnieke word gebruik om in hierdie reeks studies die dinamika van TB in Suider Afrika te ondersoek Deur spoligotipering en IS6110 restriksie fragment lengte polimorfisme (RFLP) tegnieke te gebruik om M. tuberculosis stamme van pasiente in Zimbabwe te beskryf, het ons ‘n genotipe gevind wat ‘n buitengewone aantal TB gevalle veroorsaak het. Hierdie genotipe is deel van die internasionaal beskryfde Latyns Amerikaase en Meditereense (LAM) stam familie. Ons het dit die Suider Afrikaanse Familie1 (SAF1) genoem, maar later hernoem na SAF1/RDRio, omdat dieselfde genotipe in ook volop is in Suid Amerika. Om vas te stel of hierdie familie ook oorheesend is in die res van Suider Afrika, is dit vergelyk met beskikbare databasisse van die Wes-Kaap, Suid-Afrika en Zambië. Alhoewel SAF1/RDRio in die Wes-Kaap gevind is, dra dit slegs tot ‘n mindere mate by tot die plaaslike TB epidemie. Aan die anderkant kom SAF1/RDRio baie algemeen in Zambië voor. ‘n Verdere studie wys ook dat die SAF1/RDRio familie eweredig en wyd verspreid voorkom in hoë insidensie gebiede in Gweru, Zimbabwe. Vanuit die bevindings van hierdie 2 studies, kan ons aflei dat sekere gasheer- en bakteriële eienskappe geassosieer is met SAF1/RDRio-TB-infeksie. Hierna is potensiële risiko faktore en kliniese uitkomste van siekte as gevolg van infeksie met SAF1/RDRio ondersoek. ‘n Assosiasie met rook en kaviterende pulmonale infeksie is gevind,wat daarop dui dat SAF1/RDRio erger vorm van TB veroorsaak en hoogs oordraagbaar is. Deur gebruik te maak van IS6110- (RFLP), hoof groep groepering, spoligotipering, IS6110 invoegings kaartering en veranderlike getal tandem herhaling (VNTR) tipering kon lae IS6110 invoeginsgetal (LCC) stamme van Kaapstad, Zimbabwe en ander gebiede vergelyk word. Al die LCC stamme in die studie is evolusionêr naby verwant aan mekaar en is wyd verspreid, wat dui op hulle belangrike rol in die wêreldwye TB epidemie. Waarnemings in hierdie asook ander studies het tot die hipotese gely dat spesifieke genotipes van M. tuberculosis dominant is in verskillende gebiede van Suider Afrika. Om meer insig tot die populasie samestelling van M. tuberculosis stamme in Suider Afrika in te win is spoligotipes en RFLP-data van 8 lande vergelyk. Hierdie is die eerste studie om die populasie samestelling van M. tuberculosis in Suider Afrika te beskryf en is belangrike fir toekomstige ontwikkeling van nuwe TB diagnose tegnieke, anti-TB middels en TB entstowwe. Die populasie samestelling van multiweerstandige (MDR), pre-ekstreme weerstandige (pre-XDR) en ekstreme weerstandige (XDR) M. tuberculosis van verskillende provinsies in Suid-Afrika is ook bepaal. Hierdie studie is ook die eerste wat die populasie samestelling van weerstandige M. tuberculosis in Suid-Afrika beskryf. Die resultate wys geografiese lokalisering van genotipes en ‘n assosiasie met weerstandigheidsklas. ‘n Afname in stam diversiteit soos die isolate van MDR-TB tot XDR-TB ontwikkel, dui op seleksie van spesifieke genotipes. Hierdie bevinding lê die klem op die belangrikheid van die identifisering van genetiese merkers in weerstandige stamme om die risiko vir die ontwikkeling van XDR-TB te verminder deur vroë deteksie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/6902
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