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Respir Med. 2011 Oct;105 Suppl 1:S67-73. doi: 10.1016/S0954-6111(11)70014-2.

One year nationwide evaluation of 24-locus MIRU-VNTR genotyping on Slovenian Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates.

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  • 1Laboratory for Mycobacteria, University Clinic of Respiratory and Allergic Diseases Colnik, Colnik, Slovenia.



Slovenia is one of the few countries where IS6110 RFLP is applied for genotyping M. tuberculosis at a nationwide level, which has been in effect since 2000. Based on S6110 RFLP clustering, typical risk factors and routes of M. tuberculosis transmission were identified, such as alcohol abuse, homelessness, and bars. However, IS6110 RFLP typing suffers from important limitations including a long wait for results, which reduces the potential benefit of molecular-guided tuberculosis (TB) control. PCR-based 24-locus MIRU-VNTR typing combined with spoligotyping has recently emerged as a potential alternative for faster, large-scale genotyping of M. tuberculosis.


We compared these genotyping methods for analyzing 196 Slovenian Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates representing 97.5% of all culture-positive cases included in the Slovenian TB Registry in 2008.


IS6110 RFLP and 24-locus MIRU-VNTR typing combined with spoligotyping identified 157 and 155 distinct profiles, 135 and 125 unique isolates, and 61 and 71 clustered isolates grouped into 22 and 29 clusters, respectively. The discriminatory indexes were very close, at 0.9963 and 0.9965, respectively. The majority of the molecular clusters defined by either of the two methods were identical, including in the few cases for which epidemiological links were available. The differences frequently consisted of single-band changes in IS6170-RFLP profiles subdividing a MIRU-VNTR/spoligotype-based cluster.


Our one-year nationwide study showed that the results of 24-locus MIRU-VNTR typing combined with spoligotyping reached a high level of concordance with those obtained from IS6110 RFLP typing.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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