OBJECTIVES: This study described the population structure of M. tuberculosis complex (MTBc) strains among patients with pulmonary or lymph node tuberculosis (TB) in Northwest Ethiopia and tested the performance of culture isolation and MPT64-based speciation for Lineage 7 (L7).
METHODS: Patients were recruited between April 2017 and June 2019 in North Gondar, Ethiopia. The MPT64 assay was used to confirm MTBc, and spoligotyping was used to characterize mycobacterial lineages. Line probe assay (LPA) was used to detect resistance to rifampicin and isoniazid.
RESULTS: Among 274 MTBc genotyped isolates, there were five MTBc lineages: L1-L4 and L7 were identified, with predominant East-African-Indian (L3) (53.6%) and Euro-American (L4) (40.1%) strains, and low prevalence (2.6%) of Ethiopia L7. The genotypes were similarly distributed between pulmonary and lymph node TB, and all lineages were equally isolated by culture and recognized as MTBc by the MPT64 assay. Additionally, LPA showed that 259 (94.5%) MTBc were susceptible to both rifampicin and isoniazid, and one (0.4%) was multi-drug resistant (resistant to both rifampicin and isoniazid).
CONCLUSION: These findings show that TB in North Gondar, Ethiopia, is mainly caused by L3 and L4 strains, with low rates of L7, confirmed as MTBc by MPT64 assay and with limited resistance to rifampicin and isoniazid.