MIRU-VNTR typing of Mycobacterium avium in animals and humans: heterogeneity of Mycobacterium avium subsp. hominissuis versus homogeneity of Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium strains

Res Vet Sci. 2011 Dec;91(3):376-81. doi: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2010.10.001. Epub 2010 Nov 2.


Epidemiological studies on Mycobacterium avium are requisite for revealing infection sources and disease transmission. They are based upon genotyping methods like RFLP and MIRU-VNTR. In our study, MIRU-VNTR typing was applied to 121 previously RFLP typed M. avium field isolates to compare the discriminatory power of both methods. The applicability of MIRU-VNTR typing was studied for isolates from a limited geographic area, namely 41 M. avium subsp. avium and 80 M. avium subsp. hominissuis isolates. Among the former, exhibiting 12 IS901 RFLP types, five MIRU-VNTR types were found with discriminatory index (DI) of 0.716. Among the latter, exhibiting 56 IS1245 RFLP types, 18 MIRU-VNTR types were found with DI of 0.866. Concomitant use of both methods increased DI to 0.981 and 0.995, respectively. MIRU-VNTR typing employing the selected markers provided discernible discrimination among M. avium subsp. hominissuis isolates, but more discriminative markers are needed for M. avium subsp. avium isolates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial / physiology
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genotype*
  • Humans
  • Mycobacterium avium / classification*
  • Mycobacterium avium / genetics*
  • Slovenia / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis / microbiology
  • Tuberculosis / veterinary*


  • Bacterial Proteins