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Comparison of Variable-Number Tandem-Repeat Markers typing and IS1245 Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism fingerprinting of Mycobacterium avium subsp. hominissuis from human and porcine origins

Tirkkonen, Taneli, Pakarinen, Jaakko, Rintala, Elina, Ali-Vehmas, Terhi, Marttila, Harri, Peltoniemi, Olli AT, Mäkinen, Johanna
Acta veterinaria scandinavica 2010 v.52 no.1 pp. 589
Mycobacterium avium, epidemiological studies, genetic relationships, genotyping, humans, minisatellite repeats, public health, restriction fragment length polymorphism, risk, screening, slaughter, swine, value added, Finland
BACKGROUND: Animal mycobacterioses are regarded as a potential zoonotic risk and cause economical losses world wide. M. avium subsp. hominissuis is a slow-growing subspecies found in mycobacterial infected humans and pigs and therefore rapid and discriminatory typing methods are needed for epidemiological studies. The genetic similarity of M. avium subsp. hominissuis from human and porcine origins using two different typing methods have not been studied earlier. The objective of this study was to compare the IS1245 RFLP pattern and MIRU-VNTR typing to study the genetic relatedness of M. avium strains isolated from slaughter pigs and humans in Finland with regard to public health aspects. METHODS: A novel PCR-based genotyping method, variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) typing of eight mycobacterial interspersed repetitive units (MIRUs), was evaluated for its ability to characterize Finnish Mycobacterium avium subsp. hominissuis strains isolated from pigs (n = 16) and humans (n = 13) and the results were compared with those obtained by the conventional IS1245 RFLP method. RESULTS: The MIRU-VNTR results showed a discriminatory index (DI) of 0,92 and the IS1245 RFLP resulted in DI 0,98. The combined DI for both methods was 0,98. The MIRU-VNTR test has the advantages of being simple, reproducible, non-subjective, which makes it suitable for large-scale screening of M. avium strains. CONCLUSIONS: Both typing methods demonstrated a high degree of similarity between the strains of human and porcine origin. The parallel application of the methods adds epidemiological value to the comparison of the strains and their origins. The present approach and results support the hypothesis that there is a common source of M. avium subsp. hominissuis infection for pigs and humans or alternatively one species may be the infective source to the other.