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Infect Genet Evol. 2011 Jul;11(5):1164-7. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2011.02.002. Epub 2011 Feb 18.

How dormant is Mycobacterium tuberculosis during latency? A study integrating genomics and molecular epidemiology.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, M5124 SPH II, 1415 Washington Heights, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis may survive for decades in the human body in a state termed latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). We investigated the occurrence during LTBI of insertion/deletion events in a selected set of mononucleotide simple sequence repeats, DNA sequence changes in four M. tuberculosis genes, and large sequence variations in 4750 M. tuberculosis open reading frames. We studied 13 paired M. tuberculosis clinical isolates, with each pair representing a reactivation of LTBI more than three decades after primary infection. Absence of sequence variations between paired isolates in nearly all investigated loci suggests a low likelihood of bacterial replication during LTBI.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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