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Molecular epidemiology of tuberculosis in Tasmania and genomic characterisation of its first known multi-drug resistant case


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Gautam, SS, Mac Aogain, M, Cooley, LA, Haug, G, Fyfe, JA, Globan, M and O'Toole, R ORCID: 0000-0002-4579-4479 2018 , 'Molecular epidemiology of tuberculosis in Tasmania and genomic characterisation of its first known multi-drug resistant case' , PloS one, vol. 13, no. 2 , doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0192351.

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Background:The origin and spread of tuberculosis (TB) in Tasmania and the types of strains of Mycobacteriumtuberculosis complex (MTBC) present in the population are largely unknown.Objective:The aim of this study was to perform the first genomic analysis of MTBC isolates from Tasmaniato better understand the epidemiology of TB in the state.Methods:Whole-genome sequencing was performed on cultured isolates of MTBC collected from2014–2016. Single-locus variant analysis was applied to determine the phylogeny of the isolatesand the presence of drug-resistance mutations. The genomic data were then cross-referencedagainst public health surveillance records on each of the cases.Results:We determined that 83.3% of TB cases in Tasmania from 2014–2016 occurred in non-Australianborn individuals. Two possible TB clusters were identified based on single locus variantanalysis, one from November-December 2014 (n = 2), with the second from MayAugust2015 (n = 4). We report here the first known isolate of multi-drug resistant (MDR)M. tuberculosis in Tasmania from 2016 for which we established its drug resistance mutationsand potential overseas origin. In addition, we characterised a case of M. bovis TB in aTasmanian-born person who presented in 2014, approximately 40 years after the last confirmedcase in the state’s bovids.Conclusions:TB in Tasmania is predominantly of overseas origin with genotypically-unique drug-susceptibleisolates of M. tuberculosis. However, the state also exhibits features of TB that areobserved in other jurisdictions, namely, the clustering of cases, and drug resistance. Earlydetection of TB and contact tracing, particularly of overseas-born cases, coordinated withrapid laboratory drug-susceptibility testing and molecular typing, will be essential for Tasmaniato reach the World Health Organisation’s TB eradication goals for low-incidencesettings.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Gautam, SS and Mac Aogain, M and Cooley, LA and Haug, G and Fyfe, JA and Globan, M and O'Toole, R
Keywords: Mycobacterium tuberculosis, molecular epidemiology
Journal or Publication Title: PloS one
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
DOI / ID Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0192351
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 Gautam et al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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