The predominance of Ethiopian specific Mycobacterium tuberculosis families and minimal contribution of Mycobacterium bovis in tuberculous lymphadenitis patients in Southwest Ethiopia

Mulualem Tadesse, Gemeda Abebe, Alemayehu Bekele, Mesele Bezabih, Pim de Rijk, Conor J Meehan, Bouke C de Jong, Leen Rigouts

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article


BACKGROUND: Ethiopia has an extremely high rate of extrapulmonary tuberculosis, dominated by tuberculous lymphadenitis (TBLN). However, little is known about Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBc) lineages responsible for TBLN in Southwest Ethiopia.

METHODS: A total of 304 MTBc isolates from TBLN patients in Southwest Ethiopia were genotyped primarily by spoligotyping. Isolates of selected spoligotypes were further analyzed by 15-loci mycobacterial interspersed repetitive unit-variable number tandem repeat (MIRU-VNTR) (n=167) and qPCR-based single nucleotide polymorphism (n=38). Isolates were classified into main phylogenetic lineages and families by using the reference strain collections and identification tools available at MIRU-VNTRplus data base. Resistance to rifampicin was determined by Xpert MTB/RIF.

RESULTS: The majority of isolates (248; 81.6%) belonged to the Euro-American lineage (Lineage 4), with the ill-defined T and Haarlem as largest families comprising 116 (38.2%) and 43 (14.1%) isolates respectively. Of the T family, 108 isolates were classified as being part of the newly described Ethiopian families, namely Ethiopia_2 (n=44), Ethiopia_3 (n=34) and Ethiopia_H37Rv-like (n=30). Other sub-lineages included URAL (n=18), S (n=17), Uganda I (n=16), LAM (n=13), X (n=5), TUR (n=5), Uganda II (n=4) and unknown (n=19). Lineage 3 (Delhi/CAS) was the second most common lineage comprising 44 (14.5%) isolates. Interestingly, six isolates (2%) were belonged to Lineage 7, unique to Ethiopia. Lineage 1 (East-African Indian) and Lineage 2 (Beijing) were represented by 3 and 1 isolates respectively. M. bovis was identified in only two (0.7%) TBLN cases. The cluster rate was highest for Ethiopia_3 isolates showing clonal similarity with isolates from North Ethiopia. Lineage 3 was significantly associated with rifampicin resistance.

CONCLUSIONS: In TBLN in Southwest Ethiopia, the recently described Ethiopia specific Lineage 4 families were predominant, followed by Lineage 3 and Lineage 4-Haarlem. The contribution of M. bovis in TBLN infection is minimal.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Pages (from-to)251-259
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Journal Article


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