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Free Content Molecular epidemiology and drug resistance of widespread genotypes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in northwestern Russia

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SETTING: Four administrative territories (Archangel Oblast, Murmansk Oblast, Republic of Karelia, Republic of Komi) in the northwestern federal region of Russia.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the genetic diversity and level of drug resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from new cases of pulmonary tuberculosis.

DESIGN: A total of 176 isolates of M. tuberculosis were tested for drug susceptibility and typed with insertion sequence (IS) 6110 restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and spoligotyping.

RESULTS: The Beijing family was found to be the most prevalent (47.1%), most frequently clustered and significantly associated with drug resistance to all first-line anti-tuberculosis drugs (isoniazid, rifampicin, ethambutol, streptomycin and pyrazinamide) and ethionamide, when compared to the T and Haarlem families of M. tuberculosis, which were also prevalent in the study population. Some RFLP clusters (4/10) included isolates that originated from patients residing in different territories, and cases infected with multiple strains of M. tuberculosis were apparently present in the collection.

CONCLUSION: The M. tuberculosis population in northwestern Russia appears to be genetically diverse and geographically widespread. Although dominated by isolates assigned to the Beijing family, other families also contribute to the current epidemic, and multiple strain infections may represent a problem in many cases. Extended genetic studies should be encouraged.

Keywords: Russia; epidemiology; susceptibility; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Phthisiopulmonology, Northern State Medical University, Archangel, Russia 2: Division of Infectious Disease Control, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway 3: Institute for General Practice and Community Medicine, Section for International Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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