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J Med Microbiol. 1997 Jun;46(6):501-5.

Genetic differentiation of Australian isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.

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School of Veterinary Studies, Murdoch University, Australia.


As part of an epidemiological study of tuberculosis in Australia, 84 isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from patients were analysed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The isolates were genetically heterogeneous, with 66 different DNA banding patterns obtained following digestion of genomic DNA with Dra1 and 53 patterns with Xba1. When the results were compared with those previously obtained in restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (RFLP), in 87% of cases the results with Dra1 were consistent with those obtained with insertion sequence IS6110 as a probe in RFLP. However, PFGE was able to differentiate four of eight isolates which were identical with IS6110 typing. The high polymorphism amongst strains and the high average age of the patients (51 years) suggested that most organisms were cultured from patients who had reactivation of existing infections. Isolates with identical DNA patterns were found in different states of Australia, but no one strain predominated in any area. This suggests that tuberculosis has been introduced into Australia from various sources.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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