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      Worldwide Occurrence of Beijing/W Strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis: A Systematic Review

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          Strains of the Beijing/W genotype family of Mycobacterium tuberculosis have caused large outbreaks of tuberculosis, sometimes involving multidrug resistance. This genetically highly conserved family of M. tuberculosis strains predominates in some geographic areas. We have conducted a systematic review of the published reports on these strains to determine their worldwide distribution, spread, and association with drug resistance. Sixteen studies reported prevalence of Beijing strains defined by spoligotyping; another 10 used other definitions. Beijing strains were most prevalent in Asia but were found worldwide. Associations with drug resistance varied: in New York, Cuba, Estonia, and Vietnam, Beijing strains were strongly associated with drug resistance, but elsewhere the association was weak or absent. Although few reports have measured trends in prevalence, the ubiquity of the Beijing strains and their frequent association with outbreaks and drug resistance underline their importance.

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          Most cited references 34

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          Predominance of a single genotype of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in countries of east Asia.

          Analysis of the population structure of Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains from the People's Republic of China showed that the vast majority belong to a genetically closely related group. These strains shared the majority of their IS6110 DNA-containing restriction fragments, and also, the DNA polymorphism associated with other repetitive DNA elements, like the polymorphic GC-rich sequence and the direct repeat, was very limited. Because the majority of these strains originated from the province of Beijing, we designated this grouping the "Beijing family" of M. tuberculosis strains. Strains of this family were also found to dominate in neighboring countries such as Mongolia, South Korea, and Thailand, whereas a low prevalence of such strains was observed in countries on other continents. These data indicate that strains of the Beijing family recently expanded from a single ancestor which had a selective advantage. It is speculated that long-term Mycobacterium bovis BCG vaccination may be one of the selective forces implicated in the successful spread of the Beijing genotype.
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            Mycobacterium tuberculosis Beijing genotype emerging in Vietnam.

            To assess whether the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Beijing genotype is emerging in Vietnam, we analyzed 563 isolates from new cases by spoligotyping and examined the association between the genotype and age, resistance, and BCG vaccination status. Three hundred one (54%) patients were infected with Beijing genotype strains. The genotype was associated with younger age (and hence with active transmission) and with isoniazid and streptomycin resistance, but not with BCG vaccination.
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              Origin and interstate spread of a New York City multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis clone family.

              To determine whether isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from New York and elsewhere that are resistant to four or more primary antimicrobial agents and responsible for widespread disease in the 1990s represent a newly emerged clone or a heterogeneous array of unrelated organisms. New York City area and selected locations in the United States. M tuberculosis isolates from 1953 patients in New York and multidrug-resistant isolates from six patients from other US communities. Convenience sample of all M tuberculosis strains (M tuberculosis isolates resistant to rifampin, streptomycin, isoniazid, and ethambutol, and sometimes ethionamide, kanamycin, capreomycin, or ciprofloxacin) submitted to the Public Health Research Institute Tuberculosis Center since 1991 and samples submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from throughout the United States. The samples submitted were representative of the New York City strains of M tuberculosis. Characterization of resistant M tuberculosis strains studied by IS6110 and polymorphic GC-rich repetitive sequence (PGRS) hybridization patterns, multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis, and automated DNA sequencing of genes containing mutations associated with resistance to rifampin (rpoB), isoniazid (katG and inhA locus), and streptomycin (strA and rrs). Multidrug-resistant M tuberculosis isolates were recovered from 253 New York City patients and had the same or closely allied IS6110 and PGRS patterns, multiplex PCR type, and gene mutations associated with resistance to rifampin, isoniazid, and streptomycin. Isolates with these same molecular characteristics were recovered from patients in Florida and Nevada, health care workers in Atlanta, Ga, and Miami, Fla, and an individual who recently moved from New York City to Denver, Colo, and caused disease or skin test conversion in at least 12 people in a nursing home environment. The results document the molecular origin and spread of progeny of a closely related family of multidrug-resistant M tuberculosis strains that have recently shared a common ancestor and undergone clonal expansion. The multidrug-resistant phenotype in these organisms arose by sequential acquisition of resistance-conferring mutations in several genes, most likely as a consequence of antibiotic selection of randomly occurring mutants in concert with inadequately treated infections. Dissemination of these difficult-to-treat bacteria throughout New York City and to at least four additional US cities has adverse implications for tuberculosis control in the 21st century.

                Author and article information

                Emerg Infect Dis
                Emerging Infect. Dis
                Emerging Infectious Diseases
                Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
                August 2002
                : 8
                : 8
                : 843-849
                [* ]London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
                []Institut Pasteur de Lille, France; and ‡National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, the Netherlands
                Author notes
                Address for correspondence: Judith Glynn, Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, UK; fax: 44-0-20-7636-8739; e-mail: judith.glynn@


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