1887

Abstract

, a member of the complex, is phylogenetically closely related to , differing in a few biochemical properties. However, these species have different levels of virulence in different hosts; most notably shows lower virulence for humans than . This report presents genomic comparisons using DNA microarray analysis for an extensive study of the diversity of strains. Compared to H37Rv, 13 deletions were identified in 12 strains of , including the regions RD1 to RD10, which are also missing in BCG. In addition, four new deleted regions, named MiD1, RD1, MiD2 and MiD3, were identified. DNA sequencing was used to define the extent of most of the deletions in one strain. Although RD1 of BCG and is thought to be crucial for attenuation, in this study, three of the four strains that were isolated from immunocompetent patients had the RD1 deletion. In fact, only the RD3 deletion was present in all of the strains examined, although deletions RD7, RD8 and MiD1 were found in almost all the strains. These deletions might therefore have some relation to the different host range of . It was also noticeable that of the 12 strains studied, only three were identical; these strains were all isolated from immunocompetent humans, suggesting that they could have arisen from a single source. Thus, this study shows that it is difficult to ascribe virulence to any particular pattern of deletion in .

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2004-05-01
2019-11-19
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