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Open Access Research article

Genetic variation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis circulating in Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine

Maya A Dymova1*, Oleksander O Liashenko2, Petro I Poteiko2, Valeriy S Krutko2, Eugeny A Khrapov1 and Maxim L Filipenko1

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Chemical Biology and Basic Medicine, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russian Federation, Russia

2 Kharkiv Medical Academy of Graduate Education, Kharkiv, Ukraine

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2011, 11:77  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-77

Published: 28 March 2011



A persistent increase of tuberculosis cases has recently been noted in the Ukraine. The reported incidence of drug-resistant isolates of M. tuberculosis is growing steadily; however, data on the genetic variation of isolates of M. tuberculosis circulating in northern Ukraine and on the spectrum and frequency of occurrence of mutations determining resistance to the principal anti-tuberculosis drugs isoniazid and rifampicin have not yet been reported.


Isolates of M. tuberculosis from 98 tuberculosis patients living in Kharkiv Oblast (Ukraine) were analyzed using VNTR- and RFLP-IS6110-typing methods. Mutations associated with resistance to rifampicin and isoniazid were detected by RFLP-PCR methods, and also confirmed by sequencing.


We identified 75 different genetic profiles. Thirty four (34%) isolates belonged to the Beijing genotype and 23 (23%) isolates belonged to the LAM family. A cluster of isolates belonging to the LAM family had significant genetic heterogeneity, indicating that this family had an ancient distribution and circulation in this geographical region. Moreover, we found a significant percentage of the isolates (36%) belonged to as yet unidentified families of M. tuberculosis or had individual non-clustering genotypes. Mutations conferring rifampicin and isoniazid resistance were detected in 49% and 54% isolates, respectively. Mutations in codon 531 of the rpoB gene and codon 315 of the katG gene were predominant among drug-resistant isolates. An association was found for belonging to the LAM strain family and having multiple drug resistance (R = 0.27, p = 0.0059) and also for the presence of a mutation in codon 531 of the rpoB gene and belonging to the Beijing strain family (R = 0.2, p = 0.04).


Transmission of drug-resistant isolates seems to contribute to the spread of resistant TB in this oblast. The Beijing genotype and LAM genotype should be seen as a major cause of drug resistant TB in this region.