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J Clin Microbiol. May 1996; 34(5): 1136–1142.
PMCID: PMC228969

Genomic analysis of Mycobacterium bovis and other members of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex by isoenzyme analysis and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.

Abstract

Initially, multilocus enzyme electrophoresis was used to examine genetic relationships among 63 isolates of Mycobacterium bovis and 13 other members of the M. tuberculosis complex. The isolates were divided into five electrophoretic types, with a mean genetic diversity of 0.1. The strains were genetically homogenous, indicating that members of the complex were closely related. This supported the suggestion that they should be considered as subspecies of a single species. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) was then used to differentiate these isolates, as well as 59 additional isolates of M. bovis from different parts of the world. PFGE differentiated these strains into 63 patterns (53 patterns for M. bovis). Isolates of M. bovis from Western Australia (n = 46) were more homogenous than isolates from other regions. Eight strains were identified in that state, and one predominantly bovine strain was isolated from two human beings and a feral pig. Although M. bovis isolates from different parts of the world had distinct DNA patterns, some were very similar. PFGE is a highly discriminatory technique for epidemiological studies of bovine tuberculosis. For example, it allowed differentiation between isolates of M. bovis cultured from animals in separate outbreaks of tuberculosis, it suggested the transmission of infection between certain properties, and it demonstrated the existence of multiple infections with different strains at certain farms.

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Selected References

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