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Open Access Research article

Genotyping of Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates in two cities of Turkey: Description of a new family of genotypes that is phylogeographically specific for Asia Minor

Thierry Zozio1, Caroline Allix2, Selami Gunal3, Zeynep Saribas4, Alpaslan Alp4, Riza Durmaz3, Maryse Fauville-Dufaux2, Nalin Rastogi1* and Christophe Sola1*

Author Affiliations

1 Unité de la Tuberculose et des Mycobactéries, Institut Pasteur de Guadeloupe

2 Laboratoire de la Tuberculose, Institut Pasteur de Bruxelles

3 Department of Clinical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Inonu University, Malatya, Turkey

4 Department of Microbiology and Clinical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey

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BMC Microbiology 2005, 5:44  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-5-44

Published: 26 July 2005

Abstract

Background

Population-based bacterial genetics using repeated DNA loci is an efficient approach to study the biodiversity and phylogeographical structure of human pathogens, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the agent of tuberculosis. Indeed large genetic diversity databases are available for this pathogen and are regularly updated. No population-based polymorphism data were yet available for M. tuberculosis in Turkey, at the crossroads of Eurasia.

Results

A total of 245 DNAs from Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates from tuberculosis patients residing in Turkey (Malatya n = 147 or Ankara n = 98) were genotyped by spoligotyping, a high-throughput genotyping method based on the polymorphism of the Direct Repeat locus. Thirty-three spoligotyping-defined clusters including 206 patients and 39 unique patterns were found. The ST41 cluster, as designated according to the international SpolDB3 database project, represented one fourth and when gathered to three genotypes, ST53, ST50 and ST284, one half of all the isolates. Out of 34 clinical isolates harboring ST41 which were further genotyped by IS6110 and by MIRU-VNTR typing, a typical 2-copy IS6110-RFLP pattern and a "215125113322" MIRU-VNTR pattern were observed among 21 clinical isolates. Further search in various databases confirms the likely Turkish-phylogeographical specificity of this clonal complex.

Conclusion

We described a new phylogeographically-specific clone of M. tuberculosis, designated LAM7-TUR. Further investigations to assess its frequency within all regions of Turkey and its phylogeographical origin and phylogenetic position within the global M. tuberculosis phylogenetic tree will shed new light on its endemicity in Asia Minor.