Genetic Diversity and Transmission Characteristics of Beijing Family Strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Peru

Tomotada Iwamoto, Louis Grandjean, Kentaro Arikawa, Noriko Nakanishi, Luz Caviedes, Jorge Coronel, Patricia Sheen, Takayuki Wada, Carmen A. Taype, Marie Anne Shaw, David A.J. Moore, Robert H. Gilman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Beijing family strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis have attracted worldwide attention because of their wide geographical distribution and global emergence. Peru, which has a historical relationship with East Asia, is considered to be a hotspot for Beijing family strains in South America. We aimed to unveil the genetic diversity and transmission characteristics of the Beijing strains in Peru. A total of 200 Beijing family strains were identified from 2140 M. tuberculosis isolates obtained in Lima, Peru, between December 2008 and January 2010. Of them, 198 strains were classified into sublineages, on the basis of 10 sets of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). They were also subjected to variable number tandem-repeat (VNTR) typing using an international standard set of 15 loci (15-MIRU-VNTR) plus 9 additional loci optimized for Beijing strains. An additional 70 Beijing family strains, isolated between 1999 and 2006 in Lima, were also analyzed in order to make a longitudinal comparison. The Beijing family was the third largest spoligotyping clade in Peru. Its population structure, by SNP typing, was characterized by a high frequency of Sequence Type 10 (ST10), which belongs to a modern subfamily of Beijing strains (178/198, 89.9%). Twelve strains belonged to the ancient subfamily (ST3 [n = 3], ST25 [n = 1], ST19 [n = 8]). Overall, the polymorphic information content for each of the 24 loci values was low. The 24 loci VNTR showed a high clustering rate (80.3%) and a high recent transmission index (RTIn-1 = 0.707). These strongly suggest the active and on-going transmission of Beijing family strains in the survey area. Notably, 1 VNTR genotype was found to account for 43.9% of the strains. Comparisons with data from East Asia suggested the genotype emerged as a uniquely endemic clone in Peru. A longitudinal comparison revealed the genotype was present in Lima by 1999.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere49651
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 21 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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