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Title: Stranger in a strange land: Ibero-American strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Tibet, China
Authors: Jiao, Wei-Wei
Wan, Kanglin
Shen, Adong
Mokrousov, Igor V. 
Keywords: China;Dissemination;Genotype;LAM;Tibet;Tuberculosis
Issue Date: Aug-2014
Publisher: Elsevier
Journal: Infection, Genetics and Evolution 
Abstract: The Latin-American-Mediterranean (LAM) family is among the largest, diverse and intriguing within Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Widespread in some world regions, as justly reflected by its name, LAM remains in the shadow of the Beijing and East-African Indian families in East Asia. Here, we applied evolutionarily robust markers to the spoligotyped collection of 699 M. tuberculosis clinical isolates recovered from tuberculosis (TB) patients in different provinces across China between 2005 and 2013. As a result, only two isolates were assigned to LAM, hence we conclude that this family has a negligible impact on TB transmission in China. Interestingly, these two isolates represented two grand sublineages within LAM: RD115 and RD-Rio/RD174. Our results highlight the great caution to be taken when interpreting spoligotyping profiles with large deleted blocks. Here, three geographically distant Chinese isolates of spoligotype SIT803 were excluded from LAM. This is in clear contrast with described SIT803 isolates of the LAM family in Russia and Georgia (Mokrousov et al., 2014; Niemann et al., 2010). Interestingly, a drug resistant isolate of the Ibero-American LAM RD-Rio sublineage was recovered from TB patient of Tibetan ethnicity, a resident in the Lhasa district in Tibet. An additional in-depth analysis by whole genome sequencing might help to understand the evolutionary history of this isolate and its possible route to the rural setting of the Tibetan highlands.
ISSN: 1567-1348
DOI: 10.1016/j.meegid.2014.06.011
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