Epidemiologic usefulness of spoligotyping for secondary typing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates with low copy numbers of IS6110

J Clin Microbiol. 2001 Oct;39(10):3709-11. doi: 10.1128/JCM.39.10.3709-3711.2001.


Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of IS6110 is commonly used to DNA fingerprint Mycobacterium tuberculosis. However, low-copy (< or =5) IS6110 M. tuberculosis strains are poorly differentiated, requiring secondary typing. When spoligotyping was used as the secondary method, only 13% of Maryland culture-positive tuberculosis (TB) patients with low-copy IS6110-spoligotyped clustered strains had epidemiologic linkages to another patient, compared to 48% of those with high-copy strains clustered by IS6110 alone (P < 0.01). Spoligotyping did not improve a population-based molecular epidemiologic study of recent TB transmission.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • DNA Fingerprinting*
  • DNA Transposable Elements / genetics*
  • Gene Dosage*
  • Humans
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / classification*
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / genetics
  • Oligonucleotides / analysis
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / epidemiology*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / microbiology


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Oligonucleotides