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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 119

Determination of circulating Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains and transmission patterns among TB patients in Iran, using 15 loci MIRU-VNTR

1 Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran
2 Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran
3 Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran
4 Applied Microbiology Research Centre, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Aims and objectives: Tuberculosis (TB) is considered one of the most important pathogens in the world. Iran has a moderate TB incidence, but borders two high-burden TB countries to the east and one high-burden multidrug-resistant (MDR)-TB country to the north. Limited information is available on the genetic diversity and transmission dynamics of MTB in Iran. To determine the MTB genotypes and their transmission patterns among patients, a collection of isolates from different parts of Iran were genotyped. Methods: Genotypes were generated by means of standard 15-locus variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) for 121 MTB clinical isolates collected from three provinces of Iran, including Sistan–Baluchestan (southeast province of Iran, with the highest rate of TB), Kermanshah (western part of Iran with high TB/human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] cases) and Tehran (the capital of Iran). Results: Sixty-six distinct mycobacterial interspersed repetitive unit (MIRU)-VNTR patterns were detected among 121 isolates. Seventy-five strains were grouped into 20 clusters, and 46 isolates were unique. The genetic diversity of strains from Sistan–Baluchestan was higher than that in the other province. All isolates from Tehran or Kermanshah that were grouped into clusters shared more identical patterns with Sistan–Baluchestan. The Hunter-Gaston discriminatory index (HGDI) was 0.972, indicating a high power of discrimination for MIRU-VNTR typing. The MIRU 16, ETR-A, ETR-E, MTUB04 loci were designated as highly discriminative. Conclusions: MIRU-VNTR typing showed a high genetic diversity and suggests the possibility of transmission from Sistan–Baluchestan to other provinces of Iran. This method could be considered a suitable tool for studying the transmission routes of TB and leading to more appropriate measures for TB control. MIRU-VNTR typing leads to a much better understanding of the bacterial population structure and phylogenetic relationships between strains of MTB in different regions of Iran.

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