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J Clin Microbiol. 1999 May;37(5):1265-8.

Molecular epidemiology of tuberculosis in Malaysia.

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University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom.


Molecular typing with IS6110 was applied to Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from all parts of Malaysia. The degree of clustering increased with patient age, suggesting that reactivation may contribute to clustering. Identical banding patterns were also obtained for isolates from widely separate regions. Therefore, the use of clustering as a measure of recent transmission must be treated with caution. Strains related to the Beijing family were common in Peninsular Malaysia but were less common in Sabah and Sarawak, while a distinct group of strains comprised nearly 40% of isolates from East Malaysia but such strains were rare in Peninsular Malaysia. Single-copy strains, common in South and Southeastern Asia, constituted nearly 20% of isolates from the peninsula but were virtually absent in East Malaysia. The marked geographical difference in the prevailing strains indicates not only a restricted dissemination of M. tuberculosis but also a considerable degree of stability in the banding patterns.

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