Relevance of genomic diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex in Africa

Int J Infect Dis. 2022 Nov:124 Suppl 1:S47-S49. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2022.03.016. Epub 2022 Mar 20.


Background: The diversity in the lineages of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) was initially considered insignificant. However, comparative genomics analysis of MTBC have found genomic variation among the genotypes with potential phenotypic implications.

Objective: Therefore, this viewpoint seeks to discuss the impact of the identified genotypic diversity on the physiology of MTBC and the potential implications on TB control.

Results: Studies conducted in West Africa and other parts of Africa have unravelled the implications of the genomic diversity on phenotypes such as disease outcome, transmission dynamics and host immune response. The understanding of the phenotypic diversity among the different lineages of MTBC may be an important key to the fight against TB.

Conclusion: The relevance of these differences has been observed in the design of new control tools such as diagnostics and anti-TB drugs/vaccines. This only points to the fact that the diversity in MTBC cannot be ignored in future studies especially clinical trials for new vaccines and new anti-TB drugs.

Keywords: Africa; Genomic Diversity; Mycobacterium africanum; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; West Africa.

MeSH terms

  • Africa / epidemiology
  • Genomics
  • Genotype
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis* / genetics
  • Phenotype