Genomic Diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex Strains in Cantabria (Spain), a Moderate TB Incidence Setting
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AuthorPérez del Molino Bernal, Inmaculada C.; Lillebaek, Troels; Pedersen, Mathias K.; Martínez Martínez, Luis; Folkvardsen, Dorte B.; Agüero Balbín, Jesús; Rasmussen, E. Michael
Background Tuberculosis (TB) control strategies are focused mainly on prevention, early diagnosis, compliance to treatment and contact tracing. The objectives of this study were to explore the frequency and risk factors of recent transmission of clinical isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) in Cantabria in Northern Spain from 2012 through 2013 and to analyze their clonal complexity for better understanding of the transmission dynamics in a moderate TB incidence setting. Methods DNA from 85 out of 87 isolates from bacteriologically confirmed cases of MTBC infection were extracted directly from frozen stocks and genotyped using the mycobacterial interspersed repetitive units-variable number tandem repeat (MIRU-VNTR) method. The MIRUVNTRplus database tool was used to identify clusters and lineages and to build a neighbor joining (NJ) phylogenetic tree. In addition, data were compared to the SITVIT2 database at the Pasteur Institute of Guadeloupe. Results The rate of recent transmission was calculated to 24%. Clustering was associated with being Spanish-born. A high prevalence of isolates of the Euro-American lineage was found. In addition, MIRU-VNTR profiles of the studied isolates corresponded to previously found MIRU-VNTR types in other countries, including Spain, Belgium, Great Britain, USA, Croatia, South Africa and The Netherlands. Six of the strains analyzed represented clonal variants. Conclusion Transmission of MTBC is well controlled in Cantabria. The majority of TB patients were born in Spain. The population structure of MTBC in Cantabria has a low diversity of major clonal lineages with the Euro-American lineage predominating.