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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Molecular diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from patients with tuberculosis in Honduras

Senia Rosales123*, Lelany Pineda-García1, Solomon Ghebremichael34, Nalin Rastogi5 and Sven E Hoffner34

Author Affiliations

1 Escuela de Microbiología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras, Tegucigalpa, Honduras

2 Division of Global Health (IHCAR), Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

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

4 Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology (MTC), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

5 Unité de la Tuberculose et des Mycobactéries, Institut Pasteur de la Guadeloupe, Abymes, Guadeloupe

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BMC Microbiology 2010, 10:208  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-10-208

Published: 3 August 2010



Tuberculosis persists as a public health problem in Honduras. A better knowledge of the molecular characteristics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains will contribute to understand the transmission dynamics of the disease within the country. The aim of this study was to provide an insight of the genetic biodiversity of M. tuberculosis clinical isolates collected in Honduras between 1994 and 2002. Genotyping was performed using spoligotyping and RFLP. The spoligotypes obtained were compared with the SITVIT2 proprietary database of the Pasteur Institute of Guadeloupe.


Spoligotyping grouped 84% of the isolates into 27 clusters (2 to 43 strains per cluster). Of the 44 shared international types (SITs) identified among the Honduran stains, 8 SITs were newly identified either within the present study or after match with an orphan type previously identified in the SITVIT2 database. In addition, 16 patterns corresponded to orphan, previously unreported isolates.

The Latin American Mediterranean (LAM) lineage was the most common in this study; 55% of the strains belonged to this family. Other genotypes found were Haarlem (16%), T (16%), X-clade (6%), Unknown signature (5%) and S (1%). Only one Beijing strain was identified (0.5%).

We observed a high degree of diversity after characterizing the 43 isolates belonging to the main spoligotyping cluster (SIT 33, LAM3) with IS6110-RFLP. A total of 35 different RFLP-fingerprints were detected, of which 6 patterns corresponded to the same number of clusters comprising 14 strains.


The findings obtained in this study show that tuberculosis transmission in Honduras is due to modern M. tuberculosis lineages with high level of biodiversity.