Caister Academic Press

Strain Variation and Evolution

Sebastien Gagneux
from: Mycobacterium: Genomics and Molecular Biology (Edited by: Tanya Parish and Amanda Brown). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2009)


Mycobacterium tuberculosis appears to be more genetically diverse than generally assumed. There is mounting evidence that this genetic diversity translates into significant phenotypic differences between clinical isolates. M. tuberculosis exhibits a biogeographic population structure and different strain lineages are associated with different geographic regions. Phenotypic studies in the laboratory and in clinical settings suggest that this macro-evolutionary strain variation has implications for the development of new diagnostics and vaccines. Micro-evolutionary variation affects the relative fitness and transmission dynamics of antibiotic-resistant strains. In the light of the emerging epidemic of multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, there is an urgent need to improve our understanding of the evolution and ecological consequences of strain variation in drug-resistant M. tuberculosis read more ...
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