We present the first comprehensive analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates circulating in the Kaohsiung region of southern Taiwan. The major spoligotypes found in the 224 isolates studied were Beijing lineages (n = 97; 43.3%), EAI lineages (n = 72; 32.1%) and Haarlem lineages (n = 18; 8.0%). By 24 MIRU-VNTR typing, 174 patterns were identified, including 24 clusters of 74 isolates and 150 unique patterns. The combination of spoligotyping and 12-MIRU-VNTR revealed that 129 (57.6%) of the 224 isolates were clustered in 18 genotypes. Moreover, 63.6% (7/11) of infected persons younger than 30 years had a Beijing strain, which could suggest recent spread among younger persons by this family of TB strains in Kaohsiung. Among the 94 Beijing family (SIT1, SIT250 and SIT1674) isolates further analyzed for SNPs by mass spectrometry, the most frequent strain found was ST10 (n = 49; 52%), followed by ST22 (n = 17; 18%) and ST19 (n = 11; 12%). Among the EAI-Manila family isolates analyzed by region deletion-based subtyping, the most frequent strain found was RD type 1 (n = 63; 87.5%), followed by RD type 2 (n = 9; 12.5%). In our previous study, the proportion of modern Beijing strains (52.5%) in northern Taiwan was significantly higher than the proportion of EAI strains (11%). In contrast, in the present study, EAI strains comprised up to 32% of Beijing strains in southern Taiwan. In conclusion, both 'modern' (Beijing) and 'ancient' (EAI) M. tuberculosis strains are prevalent in the Kaohsiung region, perhaps suggesting that both strains are somehow more adapted to southern Taiwan. It will be interesting to investigate the dynamics of the lineage composition by different selection pressures. © 2012 Chang et al.
Chang, J. R., Chen, Y. Y., Huang, T. S., Huang, W. F., Kuo, S. C., Tseng, F. C., … Dou, H. Y. (2012). Clonal expansion of both modern and ancient genotypes of mycobacterium tuberculosis in southern Taiwan. PLoS ONE, 7(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0043018