1887

Abstract

Tuberculosis (TB) was diagnosed in 10 seals from three species (, and ) found in South America. The mycobacteria isolated from these cases belonged to the complex, as determined by RFLP using an IS probe, spoligotyping, analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequence and by PCR-restriction analysis of . Polymorphisms in , , and were investigated in some of the isolates, as well as the presence of the MPB70 antigen. The insertion sequence IS was present in three to seven copies in the genome of the mycobacteria isolated from seals. Using the IS probe, six patterns (designated A, B, C, D, E and F) were identified from 10 different isolates. Patterns A and B were found for the mycobacteria isolated from two and four seals, respectively, indicating an epidemiological relationship between isolates grouped according to their IS RFLP. The mycobacteria isolated from seals shared the majority of their IS DNA-containing restriction fragments, and nine isolates had an identical spoligotype; only one isolate showed a minor difference in its spoligotype. In addition, none of these spoligotypes were found in other complex strains. These results suggest that the isolates from seals constitute a unique group of closely related strains. The mycobacteria isolated from seals showed polymorphisms at codon 95 and codon 463, as do group 1 , and . Group 1 mycobacteria are associated with cluster cases. The spoligotypes found in the mycobacteria isolated from seals lack spacers 39–43, as does , but the MPB70 antigen, which is highly expressed in and minimally expressed in , was not detected in these mycobacteria. The mycobacteria isolated from seals also showed and polymorphisms specific to . In conclusion, the mycobacteria that cause TB in seals in the South-Western Atlantic are a related group, and based on the combination of genetic characteristics, belong to a unique genotypic group within the complex.

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1999-09-01
2019-12-07
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