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J Clin Microbiol. 1994 Dec;32(12):3018-25.

Restriction fragment length polymorphism Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains isolated from Greenland during 1992: evidence of tuberculosis transmission between Greenland and Denmark.

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  • 1Mycobacteria Department, Statens Seruminstitut, Copenhagen, Denmark.


In order to describe the transmission of tuberculosis (TB) at the clonal level in a defined geographic region during a certain period of time, all isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis collected during 1992 from Greenland were subjected to analyses of DNA restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). The RFLP patterns obtained by probing the genomic DNA with the repetitive insertion segment IS6110 revealed a high degree of similarity among the isolates, indicating a relatively high transmission rate and a close relationship between the individual M. tuberculosis clones. This was further confirmed by reprobing the Southern blots with two more-stable genetic markers, IS1081 and the DR sequence. The RFLP patterns were compared with those of 245 M. tuberculosis strains collected from Denmark during the same period (representing 91% of all new, bacteriologically verified cases of TB in Denmark in 1992). One of the three prevalent IS6110-defined clusters was traced to a group of immigrants from Greenland living in a small, defined geographical region in Denmark and to a group of Danish citizens either with known contact with these immigrants or, in other cases, with a record of previous travel or working activities in Greenland. The study showed that the present technique is extremely helpful in monitoring the spread of TB and thereby also contributing to improved disease control.

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