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Infect Genet Evol. 2013 Jul;17:195-201. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2013.04.010. Epub 2013 Apr 17.

Genotypes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in patients at risk of drug resistance in Bolivia.

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Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Infecciosas ANLIS Carlos G Malbrán, Vélez Sarsfield 563, 1281 Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Bolivia ranks among the 10 Latin American countries with the highest rates of tuberculosis (TB) and multidrug resistant (MDR) TB. In view of this, and of the lacking information on the population structure of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the country, we explored genotype associations with drug resistance and clustering by analyzing isolates collected in 2010 from 100 consecutive TB patients at risk of drug resistance in seven of the nine departments in which Bolivia is divided. Fourteen isolates were MDR, 29 had other drug resistance profiles, and 57 were pansusceptible. Spoligotype family distribution was: Haarlem 39.4%, LAM 26.3%, T 22.2%, S 2.0%, X 1.0%, orphan 9.1%, with very low intra-family diversity and absence of Beijing genotypes. We found 66 different MIRU-VNTR patterns; the most frequent corresponded to Multiple Locus Variable Analysis (MLVA) MtbC15 patterns 860, 372 and 873. Twelve clusters, each with identical MIRU-VNTR and spoligotypes, gathered 35 patients. We found no association of genotype with drug resistant or MDR-TB. Clustering associated with SIT 50 and the H3 subfamily to which it belongs (p<0.0001). The largest cluster involved isolates from three departments and displayed a genotype (SIT 50/MLVA 860) previously identified in Bolivian migrants into Spain and Argentina suggesting that this genotype is widespread among Bolivian patients. Our study presents a first overview of M. tuberculosis genotypes at risk of drug resistance circulating in Bolivia. However, results should be taken cautiously because the sample is small and includes a particular subset of M. tuberculosis population.

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