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Tuber Lung Dis. 1997;78(2):109-16.

Differences in the prevalence of IS6110 insertion sites in Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains: low and high copy number of IS6110.

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Department of Anatomy, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, USA.



Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) isolates from various parts of the USA which have few copies of the insertion sequence IS6110.


To characterize the sites of insertion of IS6110 among M. tuberculosis isolates that have one to six copies of the insertion sequence.


The mixed-linker polymerase chain reaction (ML-PCR) procedure was used to amplify the terminal repeats on the ends of IS6110 and adjacent flanking sequences. From the ML-PCR products, sequences flanking 14 copies of IS6110 in strains containing less than seven copies of the insertion were determined. Sequence information from the flanking deoxyribonucleic acid was used to construct flanking primers that can be used to indicate the presence of IS6110 at a particular site when paired with outbound IS6110 primers in a PCR. Over 200 strains of diverse origin were screened for the insertion of IS6110 at several distinct sites using this procedure.


The direct repeat (DR) locus has been described as a highly preferred site for insertion of IS6110 in strains of M. tuberculosis. Another highly preferred site of insertion of IS6100, DK1, is herein described. Insertions at DK1 are highly prevalent in M. tuberculosis strains harboring two to six copies of IS6110. The prevalence of insertions at this site decreases in strains with more than six copies of IS6110, even though the sequence itself is present in strains lacking a copy of IS6110 at this site.


In addition to the DR locus there are other conserved sites of insertion among M. tuberculosis strains. The data further suggest a separate lineage for the high copy and the low copy strains, and a possible sequential insertion of IS6110 in strains of M. tuberculosis with less than seven copies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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