We developed a new multiplexed-PCR assay to accurately classify Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC) isolates at the sublineage level by single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). This method relies on 7 SNPs located in different genes of the MTC strains ( recC , rec0 , recR , ligB , ligC , alkA , and mgtC ). Most of these genes are involved in replication, repair and recombination (3R) functions of M . tuberculosis strains, four of the mutations are synonymous, and thus neutral. Genes were chosen as a first empirical approach to assess the congruence between spoligotyping-based phylogeographical classification and SNP typing. This scheme efficiently classifies most of MTC phylogeographical groups: (1) confirming and identifying new sublineage-specific SNPs, (2) unraveling phylogenetical relationships between spoligotyping-defined MTC sublineages, (3) appropriately assigning sublineages to some spoligotypes and reassigning sublineages to other mis-labeled spoligotype signatures. This study opens the way to a more meaningful taxonomic, evolutionary and epidemiological classification. It also allows evaluation of spoligotype-signature significance towards a more comprehensive understanding of the evolutionary mechanisms of the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) locus in MTC.
Infection, Genetics and Evolution – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2010
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