Genetic characterization of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the West Bank, Palestinian Territories

Suheir Ereqat*, Abedelmajeed Nasereddin, Kifaya Azmi, Ziad Abdeen, Charles L. Greenblatt, Mark Spigelman, Nalin Rastogi, Gila Kahila Bar-Gal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) declared human tuberculosis (TB) a global health emergency and launched the Global Plan to Stop Tuberculosis which aims to save a million lives by 2015. Global control of TB is increasingly dependent on rapid and accurate genetic typing of species of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) complex including M. tuberculosis. The aim of this study was to identify and genetically characterize the MTB isolates circulating in the West Bank, Palestinian Territories. Genotyping of the MTB isolates from patients with pulmonary TB was carried out using two molecular genetic techniques, spoligotyping and mycobacterial interspersed repetitive units-variable number of tandem repeat (MIRU-VNTR) supported by analysis of the MTB specific deletion 1 (TbD1). Findings: A total of 17 MTB patterns were obtained from the 31 clinical isolates analyzed by spoligotyping; corresponding to 2 orphans and 15 shared-types (SITs). Fourteen SITs matched a preexisting shared-type in the SITVIT2 database, whereas a single shared-type SIT3348 was newly created. The most common spoligotyping profile was SIT53 (T1 variant), identified in 35.5 % of the TB cases studied. Genetic characterization of 22 clinical isolates via the 15 loci MIRU-VNTR typing distinguished 19 patterns. The 15-loci MIT144 and MIT145 were newly created within this study. Both methods determined the present of M. bovis strains among the isolates. Conclusions: Significant diversity among the MTB isolates circulating in the West Bank was identified with SIT53-T1 genotype being the most frequent strain. Our results are used as reference database of the strains circulating in our region and may facilitate the implementation of an efficient TB control program.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number270
JournalBMC Research Notes
StatePublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the Palestinian Ministry of Health for providing necessary facilities to carry out this work. This study is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the PhD program for Suheir Ereqat at the Hebrew University. This study is supported by the German National Science Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)-DFG grant number NE575/ 4-1.


  • Genotyping
  • MIRU
  • Mycobacterium
  • Spoligotyping
  • Tuberculosis


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