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Trends Microbiol. 2002 Jan;10(1):45-52.

Global dissemination of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis W-Beijing family strains.

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U447-Mécanismes Moléculaires de la Pathogénie Bactérienne, Institut Pasteur de Lille-IBL. 1, rue du Professeur Calmette, BP245-59019 Lille cedex, France.


A large, genetically related group of Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains, variously called W or Beijing, is distinguished by specific molecular markers and referred to as the W-Beijing family strains. Molecular epidemiological studies suggest that these strains are highly prevalent throughout Asia and the countries of the former Soviet Union and they have also been reported in several other geographical regions, including North America. Although the spread of W-Beijing family strains in diverse populations is well documented, the underlying host-pathogen factors accounting for their continued dissemination and burden of disease have yet to be determined.

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