Diversity of DNA fingerprints of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates in the United States

Zhenhua Yang, Peter F. Barnes, Fernando Chaves, Kathleen D. Eisenach, Stephen E. Weis, Joseph H. Bates, M. Donald Cave

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


To investigate the diversity of IS6110 fingerprints of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates in the United States and to determine if matching IS6110 fingerprints represent recent interstate tuberculosis transmission, we performed restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of M. tuberculosis isolates from 1,326 patients in three geographically separated states. Seven hundred ninety-five different IS6110 fingerprint patterns were generated, and pattern diversity was similar in each state. Ninety-six percent of the fingerprint patterns were observed in only one state, demonstrating that most IS6110 fingerprint patterns are confined to a single geographic location. Of the IS6110 fingerprint patterns that were shared by isolates from more than one state, most isolates with 1 to 5 IS6110 copies were separable by pTBN12 fingerprinting whereas those with > 15 copies were not. One high-copy-number M. tuberculosis strain had identical IS6110 and pTBN12 fingerprints and included 57 isolates from three states. Epidemiological data demonstrated significant recent transmission of tuberculosis within each city but not among the states. This suggests that identical fingerprints of isolates geographically separate locations most likely reflect interstate tuberculosis transmission in the past, with subsequent intrastate spread of disease. Further evaluation of M. tuberculosis strains that cause outbreaks in different geographic locations will provide insight into the epidemiological and bacteriological factors that facilitate the spread of tuberculosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1003-1007
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1998


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