Annals of Clinical Microbiology, The official Journal of the Korean Society of Clinical Microbiology


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pISSN 2288-0585 eISSN 2288-6850

Characteristics of Molecular Strain Typing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Isolated from Korea

Review article

Annals of Clinical Microbiology (Ann Clin Microbiol) 2011 June, Volume 14, Issue 2, pages 41-47.

Characteristics of Molecular Strain Typing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Isolated from Korea

Mi Hee Jang1, Go Eun Choi1, Chulhun L. Chang1, Yeong Dae Kim2
Departments of 1Laboratory Medicine, and 2Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, School of Medicine, Pusan National University, Busan, Korea


Molecular strain typing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is important for the detection of outbreaks of tuberculosis and laboratory cross contamination, as well as the differentiation between re-infection and reactivation of tuberculosis. In the present review, the authors investigated the currently available typing methods for M. tuberculosis and the current status of strain distribution in Korea. IS6110-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), which is considered a standard method, is based on numbers and positions of the insertion sequence, IS6110. The method has an excellent discriminatory power with a considerable amount of worldwide data, although it is time-consuming and labor-intensive. Spoligotyping is based on the presence or absence of spacer sequences between direct repeat (DR) regions. PCR amplification allows for the possibility of application in the early suspicious stage. The data can be easily digitized; however, it shows identical profiles in Beijing family strains. Mycobacterial interspersed repetitive unit-variable number of tandem repeat (MIRU- VNTR) is another PCR-based genotyping method with a good discrimination power whose data can also be easily digitized. In Korea, the prevalence of Beijing family strains have been as high as 80 to 87%. (Korean J Clin Microbiol 2011;14:41-47)


Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Molecular strain typing, Beijing family