Longitudinal genotyping surveillance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in an area with high tuberculosis incidence shows high transmission rate of the modern Beijing subfamily in Japan

Infect Genet Evol. 2019 Aug:72:25-30. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2018.09.014. Epub 2018 Sep 24.


Tuberculosis (TB) is a severe and wide-spread infectious disease worldwide. The modern Beijing subfamily, one lineage of M. tuberculosis, reportedly has high pathogenicity and transmissibility. This study used a molecular epidemiological approach to investigate the transmissibility of the modern Beijing subfamily in the Airin area of Osaka City, Japan. During 2006-2016, we collected 596 M. tuberculosis clinical isolates in the Airin area, Osaka city, Japan. We analyzed the 24-locus variable number of tandem repeats typing optimized for the Beijing family of isolates, M. tuberculosis lineage, and patient epidemiological data. The proportion of the modern Beijing subfamily was significantly higher not only than previously obtained data for the Airin area: it was also higher than the nationwide in Japan. The rate of recent clusters, defined as a variable number of tandem repeats profile identified within two years, of the modern Beijing subfamily was significantly higher than that the rate of recent clusters of the ancient Beijing subfamily. Results suggest that TB control measures formulated with attention to the modern Beijing subfamily might be an important benchmark to understanding recent TB transmission in the area.

Keywords: Beijing family; Molecular epidemiology; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; VNTR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cluster Analysis
  • Genotyping Techniques
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Minisatellite Repeats / genetics
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / genetics*
  • Tuberculosis / microbiology*
  • Tuberculosis / transmission*