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J Infect Dis. 2006 Jan 1;193(1):121-8. Epub 2005 Nov 28.

Single-nucleotide polymorphism-based population genetic analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains from 4 geographic sites.

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Laboratory of Human Bacterial Pathogenesis, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, Montana, USA.


We studied genetic relationships among 5069 Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains recovered from patients enrolled in 4 population-based studies in the United States and Europe, by analysis of 36 synonymous single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). All strains were assigned to 1 of 9 major genetic clusters based on sSNP profile. The same 9 genetic clusters were revealed by analysis of 227 nonsynonymous SNPs, 121 intergenic SNPs, and concatenated profiles of 578 SNPs available for a subset of 48 representative strains. IS6110 profiles, spoligotypes, and mycobacterial interspersed repetitive unit patterns were nonrandomly associated with SNP-based phylogenetic lineages, together indicating a strongly clonal population structure. Isolates of the 9 genetic clusters were not distributed with equal frequency in all localities, reflecting geographic subdivision. The SNP-based phylogenetic framework provides new insight into the worldwide evolution of M. tuberculosis and a gateway for investigating genotype-disease phenotype relationships in large samples of strains.

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