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Infect Genet Evol. 2016 Jun;40:192-199. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2016.03.004. Epub 2016 Mar 7.

Molecular analysis and MIRU-VNTR typing of Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium, 'hominissuis' and silvaticum strains of veterinary origin.

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Veterinary Diagnostic Directorate, National Food Chain Safety Office (NFCSO), P.O. Box 2, 1581 Budapest, Hungary. Electronic address:
University of Kaposvar, Diagnostic Imaging and Radiation Oncology, Guba Sándor u. 40., 7400 Kaposvár, Hungary.
Veterinary Diagnostic Directorate, National Food Chain Safety Office (NFCSO), P.O. Box 2, 1581 Budapest, Hungary.
Institute for Veterinary Medical Research, Centre for Agricultural Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungária krt. 21., 1143 Budapest, Hungary.


Besides Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP), M. avium subsp. avium (MAA), M. avium subsp. silvaticum (MAS), and 'M. avium subsp. hominissuis' (MAH) are equally important members of M. avium complex, with worldwide distribution and zoonotic potential. Genotypic discrimination is a prerequisite to epidemiological studies which can facilitate disease prevention through revealing infection sources and transmission routes. The primary aim of this study was to identify the genetic diversity within 135 MAA, 62 MAS, and 84 MAH strains isolated from wild and domestic mammals, reptiles and birds. Strains were tested for the presence of large sequence polymorphism LSP(A)17 and were submitted to Mycobacterial interspersed repetitive units-variable-number tandem repeat (MIRU-VNTR) analysis at 8 loci, including MIRU1, 2, 3, and 4, VNTR25, 32, and 259, and MATR9. In 12 strains hsp65 sequence code type was also determined. LSP(A)17 was present only in 19.9% of the strains. All LSP(A)17 positive strains belonged to subspecies MAH. The discriminatory power of the MIRU-VNTR loci set used reached 0.9228. Altogether 54 different genotypes were detected. Within MAH, MAA, and MAS strains 33, 16, and 5 different genotypes were observed. The described genotypes were not restricted to geographic regions or host species, but proved to be subspecies specific. Our knowledge about MAS is limited due to isolation and identification difficulties. This is the first study including a large number of MAS field strains. Our results demonstrate the high diversity of MAH and MAA strains and the relative uniformity of MAS strains.


Genetic diversity; Hominissuis; LSP(A)17; MIRU-VNTR; Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium; Silvaticum

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