Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

First insights into the genetic diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from HIV-infected Mexican patients and mutations causing multidrug resistance

Rocio Lopez-Alvarez12, Claudia Badillo-Lopez2, Jorge F Cerna-Cortes2, Ivan Castillo-Ramirez2, Sandra Rivera-Gutierrez2, Addy C Helguera-Repetto2, Diana Aguilar3, Rogelio Hernandez-Pando3, Sofia Samper4 and Jorge A Gonzalez-y-Merchand2*

Author Affiliations

1 Hospital Regional "General Ignacio Zaragoza", Mexico City, Mexico

2 Departamento de Microbiologia, ENCB-IPN, Mexico City, Mexico

3 Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Medicas y Nutricion "Salvador Zubiran", Mexico City, Mexico

4 Hospital Universitario Miguel Servet, Instituto Aragones de Ciencias de la Salud, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red Enfermedades Respiratorias, Zaragoza, España

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Microbiology 2010, 10:82  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-10-82

Published: 17 March 2010



The prevalence of infections with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTb) and nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) species in HIV-infected patients in Mexico is unknown. The aims of this study were to determine the frequency of MTb and NTM species in HIV-infected patients from Mexico City, to evaluate the genotypic diversity of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex strains, to determine their drug resistance profiles by colorimetric microplate Alamar Blue assay (MABA), and finally, to detect mutations present in katG, rpoB and inhA genes, resulting in isoniazid (INH) and rifampin (RIF) resistance.


Of the 67 mycobacterial strains isolated, 48 were identified as MTb, 9 as M. bovis, 9 as M. avium and 1 as M. intracellulare. IS6110-RFLP of 48 MTb strains showed 27 profiles. Spoligotyping of the 48 MTb strains yielded 21 patterns, and 9 M. bovis strains produced 7 patterns. Eleven new spoligotypes patterns were found. A total of 40 patterns were produced from the 48 MTb strains when MIRU-VNTR was performed. Nineteen (39.6%) MTb strains were resistant to one or more drugs. One (2.1%) multidrug-resistant (MDR) strain was identified. A novel mutation was identified in a RIF-resistant strain, GAG → TCG (Glu → Ser) at codon 469 of rpoB gene.


This is the first molecular analysis of mycobacteria isolated from HIV-infected patients in Mexico, which describe the prevalence of different mycobacterial species in this population. A high genetic diversity of MTb strains was identified. New spoligotypes and MIRU-VNTR patterns as well as a novel mutation associated to RIF-resistance were found. This information will facilitate the tracking of different mycobacterial species in HIV-infected individuals, and monitoring the spread of these microorganisms, leading to more appropriate measures for tuberculosis control.