• Differentiating host-associated variants of Mycobacterium avium by PCR for detection of large sequence polymorphisms.

      Semret, Makeda; Turenne, Christine Y; Haas, Petra de; Collins, Desmond M; Behr, Marcel A (2006-03-01)
      The Mycobacterium avium species consists of a group of organisms that are genetically related but phenotypically diverse, with certain variants presenting clear differences in terms of their host association and disease manifestations. The ability to distinguish between these subtypes is of relevance for accurate diagnosis and for control programs. Using a comparative genomics approach, we have uncovered large sequence polymorphisms that are, respectively, absent from bird-type M. avium isolates and from cattle types and sheep types of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis. By evaluating the distribution of these genomic polymorphisms across a panel of strains, we were able to assign unique genomic signatures to these host-associated variants. We propose a simple PCR-based strategy based on these polymorphisms that can rapidly type M. avium isolates into these subgroups.
    • ESAT-6 and CFP-10 in clinical versus environmental isolates of Mycobacterium kansasii.

      Arend, Sandra M; Haas, Petra de; Leyten, Eliane; Rosenkrands, Ida; Rigouts, Leen; Andersen, Peter; Mijs, Wouter; Dissel, Jaap T van; Soolingen, Dick van (2005-04-15)
      Mycobacterium kansasii consists of 5 genetically distinct groups, of which 2 are associated with human disease. Determinants of the differences in virulence are unknown. Potential genes of interest are esat-6 and cfp-10, which are associated with virulence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis but are lacking in bacille Calmette-Guérin and in most environmental mycobacteria (M. kansasii is an exception). We investigated esat-6 and cfp-10 genes in 22 clinical and 14 environmental isolates of M. kansasii. Both were present in all isolates; each genetic group had its own characteristic Southern-blot pattern corresponding to a highly conserved fingerprint pattern. Nucleotide sequences of the genes differed 12.6% and 10.1%, respectively, from the M. tuberculosis homologues, but the deduced amino acid sequences were <5% different. In vitro, clinical and environmental genotypes of M. kansasii expressed CFP-10 and ESAT-6. Thus, virulence of M. kansasii is not directly related to esat-6 and cfp-10 genes or gene expression.
    • Novel genetic polymorphisms that further delineate the phylogeny of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex.

      Huard, Richard C; Fabre, Michel; Haas, Petra de; Lazzarini, Luiz Claudio Oliveira; Soolingen, Dick van; Cousins, Debby; Ho, John L (2006-06-01)
      In a previous report, we described a PCR protocol for the differentiation of the various species of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC) on the basis of genomic deletions (R. C. Huard, L. C. de Oliveira Lazzarini, W. R. Butler, D. van Soolingen, and J. L. Ho, J. Clin. Microbiol. 41:1637-1650, 2003). That report also provided a broad cross-comparison of several previously identified, phylogenetically relevant, long-sequence and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (LSPs and SNPs, respectively). In the present companion report, we expand upon the previous work (i) by continuing the evaluation of known MTC phylogenetic markers in a larger collection of tubercle bacilli (n = 125), (ii) by evaluating additional recently reported MTC species-specific and interspecific polymorphisms, and (iii) by describing the identification and distribution of a number of novel LSPs and SNPs. Notably, new genomic deletions were found in various Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains, new species-specific SNPs were identified for "Mycobacterium canettii," Mycobacterium microti, and Mycobacterium pinnipedii, and, for the first time, intraspecific single-nucleotide DNA differences were discovered for the dassie bacillus, the oryx bacillus, and the two Mycobacterium africanum subtype I variants. Surprisingly, coincident polymorphisms linked one M. africanum subtype I genotype with the dassie bacillus and M. microti with M. pinnipedii, thereby suggesting closer evolutionary ties within each pair of species than had been previously thought. Overall, the presented data add to the genetic definitions of several MTC organisms as well as fine-tune current models for the evolutionary history of the MTC.