Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Molecular diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from patients with pulmonary tuberculosis in Mozambique

Sofia O Viegas123*, Adelina Machado1, Ramona Groenheit34, Solomon Ghebremichael34, Alexandra Pennhag4, Paula S Gudo5, Zaina Cuna5, Paolo Miotto6, Véronique Hill7, Tatiana Marrufo1, Daniela M Cirillo6, Nalin Rastogi7, Gunilla Källenius8 and Tuija Koivula89

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Veterinary, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo Mozambique

2 National Institute of Health, Ministry of Health, Maputo, Mozambique

3 Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

4 Department of Bacteriology, Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, Solna, Sweden

5 Tuberculosis National Control Program, Ministry of Health, Maputo, Mozambique

6 Emerging Bacterial Pathogens Unit, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy

7 WHO Supranational TB Reference Laboratory, Tuberculosis & Mycobacteria Unit, Institut Pasteur de la Guadeloupe, Abymes, Guadeloupe, France

8 Department of Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

9 Centre for Microbiological Preparedness, Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, Solna, Sweden

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Microbiology 2010, 10:195  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-10-195

Published: 21 July 2010



Mozambique is one of the countries with the highest burden of tuberculosis (TB) in Sub-Saharan Africa, and information on the predominant genotypes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis circulating in the country are important to better understand the epidemic. This study determined the predominant strain lineages that cause TB in Mozambique.


A total of 445 M. tuberculosis isolates from seven different provinces of Mozambique were characterized by spoligotyping and resulting profiles were compared with the international spoligotyping database SITVIT2.

The four most predominant lineages observed were: the Latin-American Mediterranean (LAM, n = 165 or 37%); the East African-Indian (EAI, n = 132 or 29.7%); an evolutionary recent but yet ill-defined T clade, (n = 52 or 11.6%); and the globally-emerging Beijing clone, (n = 31 or 7%). A high spoligotype diversity was found for the EAI, LAM and T lineages.


The TB epidemic in Mozambique is caused by a wide diversity of spoligotypes with predominance of LAM, EAI, T and Beijing lineages.