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FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2009 Jan;55(1):13-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-695X.2008.00470.x. Epub 2008 Sep 17.

At Baltic crossroads: a molecular snapshot of Mycobacterium tuberculosis population diversity in Kaliningrad, Russia.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology, St Petersburg Pasteur Institute, St Petersburg, Russia.


The Kaliningrad region is the westernmost part of the Russian Federation; it includes an enclave on the Baltic Sea inside the European Union separated from mainland Russia by Lithuania and Poland. The incidence of tuberculosis in Kaliningrad has shown a steady and dramatic increase from 83/100,000 in 2000 to 134/100,000 in 2006; the rate of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-tuberculosis) in the Kaliningrad region was reported to be 30.5% among newly diagnosed tuberculosis patients. This study presents a first molecular snapshot of the population diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in this region. A total of 90 drug-resistant and susceptible M. tuberculosis strains from Kaliningrad were subjected to spoligotyping, 12-locus MIRU typing and mutation analysis of the drug resistance genes rpoB and katG. A comparison with international databases showed that the M. tuberculosis population in this region shares a joint pool of strains with the European part of Russia, and also exhibits a certain affinity with those of its northern European neighbours, such as Poland and Germany. Comparison of the genotyping and drug resistance data emphasized that the high prevalence of the MDR Beijing genotype strains is a major cause of the adverse epidemiological situation of MDR-tuberculosis in the Kaliningrad region.

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