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Scand J Infect Dis. 2013 Feb;45(2):124-30. doi: 10.3109/00365548.2012.717233. Epub 2012 Sep 6.

MIRU-VNTR analysis of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from three provinces of Iran.

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Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Iran borders 2 high-burden tuberculosis (TB) countries to the east, and has the highest rates of TB in one of its eastern provinces. Limited information is available on the genetic diversity and transmission dynamics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) in Iran. To examine the genetic diversity and transmission dynamics of MTB strains we genotyped a collection of isolates from different parts of Iran.


Standard 15-locus variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) typing was applied to genotype 121 MTB clinical isolates collected from 3 provinces of Iran, including Tehran (the capital of Iran), Sistan-Baluchestan (southeast province of Iran, with the highest rate of TB), and Kermanshah (western part of Iran with high TB/human immunodeficiency virus cases). Antibiotic susceptibility for all isolates was determined using the proportion method.


Sixty-six distinct mycobacterial interspersed repetitive unit (MIRU)-VNTR patterns were detected among 121 isolates. Seventy-five strains grouped into 20 clusters, and 46 isolates were unique. The genetic diversity of strains from Sistan-Baluchestan was higher than that in the other provinces. All isolates from Tehran or Kermanshah that grouped into clusters shared identical patterns with Sistan-Baluchestan. The Hunter-Gaston discriminatory index (HGDI) was 0.972, indicating a high power of discrimination for MIRU-VNTR typing. The MIRU 16 and ETRA loci were designated as highly discriminative. The rates of monoresistance and multidrug resistance were 9.9% and 2.4%, respectively.


MIRU-VNTR typing revealed high genetic diversity and suggests the possibility of transmission from Sistan-Baluchestan to other provinces of Iran. This method has potential for genetic analysis and for studying the transmission routes of TB.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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