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Nucleic Acids Res. 2010 Jul;38(Web Server issue):W326-31. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkq351. Epub 2010 May 10.

MIRU-VNTRplus: a web tool for polyphasic genotyping of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex bacteria.

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Department of Periodontology, University Hospital Münster, Münster, Germany.


Harmonized typing of bacteria and easy identification of locally or internationally circulating clones are essential for epidemiological surveillance and disease control. For Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) species, multi-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) targeting mycobacterial interspersed repetitive units (MIRU) has been internationally adopted as the new standard, portable, reproducible and discriminatory typing method. However, no specialized bioinformatics web tools are available for analysing MLVA data in combination with other, complementary typing data. Therefore, we have developed the web application MIRU-VNTRplus ( This freely accessible service allows users to analyse genotyping data of their strains alone or in comparison with a reference database of strains representing the major MTBC lineages. Analysis and comparisons of genotypes can be based on MLVA-, spoligotype-, large sequence polymorphism and single nucleotide polymorphism data, or on a weighted combination of these markers. Tools for data exploration include search for similar strains, creation of phylogenetic and minimum spanning trees and mapping of geographic information. To facilitate scientific communication, an expanding genotype nomenclature (MLVA MtbC15-9 type) that can be queried via a web- or a SOAP-interface has been implemented. An extensive documentation guides users through all application functions.

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