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Volume 50, Number 2, April 2017

Diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis lineages in French Polynesia 

Djaltou Aboubaker Osman, Michael Phelippeau, Michel Drancourt, Didier Musso


Corresponding author:

Didier Musso, Corresponding author. Pôle de recherche et de veille sur les maladies infectieuses émergente, Institut Louis Malardé, PO Box 30, 98713 Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia. 


Background and purpose: 

French Polynesia is an overseas territory located in the South Pacific. The incidence of tuberculosis in French Polynesia has been stable since 2000 with an average of 20 cases/y/100,000 inhabitants. Molecular epidemiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in French Polynesia is unknown because M. tuberculosis isolates have not been routinely genotyped. 



From 2009 to 2012, 34 isolates collected from 32 French Polynesian patients were identified as M. tuberculosis by probe hybridization. These isolates were genotyped using spoligotyping and 24-loci mycobacterial interspersed repetitive units (MIRUs)-variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR). Spoligotype patterns obtained using commercial kits were compared with the online international database SITVIT. MIRU-VNTR genotyping was performed using an in-house protocol based on capillary electrophoresis sizing for 24-loci MIRU-VNTR genotyping. 



The results of the spoligotyping method revealed that 25 isolates grouped into six previously described spoligotypes [H1, H3, U likely (S), T1, Manu, and Beijing] and nine isolates grouped into six new spoligotypes. Comparison with the international database MIRU-VNTRplus distributed 30 isolates into five lineages (Haarlem, Latin American Mediterranean, S, X, and Beijing) and four as unassigned isolates.




Genotyping identified four phylogenetic lineages belonging to the modern Euro–American subgroup, one Beijing genotype responsible for worldwide pandemics, including remote islands in the South Pacific, and one Manu genotype of the ancestral lineage of M. tuberculosis. 


Key words:

French Polynesia, Genotyping, Mycobacterial interspersed repetitive unit, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Spoligotyping, tuberculosis