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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Molecular typing of mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates circulating in Jiangsu Province, China

Qiao Liu1, Dandan Yang2, Weiguo Xu2, Jianming Wang1, Bing LV3, Yan Shao2, Honghuan Song2, Guoli Li2, Haiyan Dong3, Kanglin Wan3 and Hua Wang12*

  • * Corresponding author: Hua Wang

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, PR China

2 Department of Chronic Communicable Disease, Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing, PR China

3 National Institute for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, State Key Laboratory for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, Beijing, PR China

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2011, 11:288  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-288

Published: 26 October 2011



Globally, China is the second place with high burden of tuberculosis (TB). To explore the characteristics of the pathogens of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) circulating in this area is helpful for understanding and controlling the spread of the strains. Recent developments in molecular biology have allowed prompt identification and tracking specific strains of MTB spreading through the population.


Spacer-oligonucleotide typing (spoligotyping) and mycobacterial interspersed repetitive units variable number tandem repeat (MIRU-VNTR) were performed in combination to yield specific genetic profiles of 260 MTB strains isolated from 30 counties of Jiangsu province in China between June and July 2010. The spoligotyping results were in comparison to the world Spoligotyping Database of Institute Pasteur de Guadeloupe (SpolDB4). Drug susceptibility test (DST) was performed on all strains by proportion method on Lowenstein-Jensen (LJ) culture media.


Based on the spoligotyping method, 246 strains displayed known patterns and 14 were absent in the database. Predominant spoligotypes belonged to the Beijing family (80.4%). By using the 24-loci VNTR typing scheme, 224 different patterns were identified, including 20 clusters and 204 unique patterns. The largest clade comprised 195 strains belonging to the Beijing family. The combination of spoligotyping and 24-loci MIRU-VNTR demonstrated maximal discriminatory power. Furthermore, we observed a significant association between Beijing family strains and drug-resistant phenotypes. The Beijing family strains presented increased risks for developing multi-drug resistant TB, with the OR (95% CI) of 11.07(1.45-84.50).


The present study demonstrated that Beijing family isolates were the most prevalent strains circulating in Jiangsu province of China. The utility of spoligotyping in combination with 24-loci MIRU-VNTR might be a useful tool for epidemiological analysis of MTB transmission.