Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Genetic diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex in Jos, Nigeria

Agatha Ani1, Torbjørn Bruvik2, Yetunde Okoh1, Patricia Agaba3, Oche Agbaji3, John Idoko3 and Ulf R Dahle2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Jos, Nigeria

2 Division of Infectious Disease Control, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway

3 AIDS prevention initiative in Nigeria, Centre Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2010, 10:189  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-189

Published: 26 June 2010



Nigeria has a high tuberculosis incidence, and genotyping studies of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex (MTC) in the country are necessary in order to improve our understanding of the epidemic.


Isolates of MTC were isolated from cases of pulmonary tuberculosis in Jos, North Central region of Nigeria during 2006-2008. Drug susceptibility test (DST) was performed on 77 of 111 isolates by proportion method on Lowenstein Jensen (LJ) slope while genotyping of mycobacterial DNA was performed by spoligotyping. The SpolDB4 database and the model-based program 'spotclust' were used to assign isolates to families, subfamilies and variants.


A total of 111 pulmonary isolates from consecutive tuberculosis patients in the city of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria were spoligotyped. A total of 84 (76%) of the isolates belonged to the Latin American Mediterranean (LAM) family. Of these, 78 isolates were assigned to the LAM10 lineage. Among these, 66 exhibited identical spoligopatterns. Drug susceptibility profiles obtained were not consistently associated with any spoligopattern.


The dominance of few M. tuberculosis lineages suggests either a high rate of transmission, frequent import of closely related strains, or a highly conserved genotype. It remains to be confirmed whether the predominance of identical LAM10 represent an outbreak.

Spoligotyping was useful to gain an overall understanding of the local TB epidemic. This study demonstrated that the incidence of TB in Jos, Nigeria may be caused by a few successful M. tuberculosis families, dominated by the LAM10 family.