Mycobacterium leprae in Colombia described by SNP7614 in gyrA, two minisatellites and geography

Universidad de Antioquia, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia.
Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases (Impact Factor: 3.02). 01/2013; 14. DOI: 10.1016/j.meegid.2012.12.015
Source: PubMed


New cases of leprosy are still being detected in Colombia after the country declared achievement of the WHO defined 'elimination' status. To study the ecology of leprosy in endemic regions, a combination of geographic and molecular tools were applied for a group of 201 multibacillary patients including six multi-case families from eleven departments. The location (latitude and longitude) of patient residences were mapped. Slit skin smears and/or skin biopsies were collected and DNA was extracted. Standard agarose gel electrophoresis following a multiplex PCR-was developed for rapid and inexpensive strain typing of M. leprae based on copy numbers of two VNTR minisatellite loci 27-5 and 12-5. A SNP (C/T) in gyrA (SNP7614) was mapped by introducing a novel PCR-RFLP into an ongoing drug resistance surveillance effort. Multiple genotypes were detected combining the three molecular markers. The two frequent genotypes in Colombia were the SNP7614(C)/27-5(5)/12-5(4) [C54] predominantly distributed in the Atlantic departments while the SNP7614 (T)/27-5(4)/12-5(5) [T45] was associated with the Andean departments. A novel genotype SNP7614 (C)/27-5(6)/12-5(4) [C64] was detected in cities along the Magdalena river which separates the Andean from Atlantic departments; a subset was further characterized showing association with a rare allele of minisatellite 23-3 and the SNP type 1 of M. leprae. The genotypes within intra-family cases were conserved. Overall, this is the first large scale study that utilized simple and rapid assay formats for identification of major strain types and their distribution in Colombia. It provides the framework for further strain type discrimination and geographic information systems as tools for tracing transmission of leprosy.

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Available from: Nora Cardona-Castro, May 25, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Recent reports have suggested that leprosy originated in Africa, extended to Asia and Europe, and arrived in the Americas during European colonization and the African slave trade. Due to colonization, the contemporary Colombian population is an admixture of Native-American, European and African ancestries. Because microorganisms are known to accompany humans during migrations, patterns of human migration can be traced by examining genomic changes in associated microbes. The current study analyzed 118 leprosy cases and 116 unrelated controls from two Colombian regions endemic for leprosy (Atlantic and Andean) in order to determine possible associations of leprosy with patient ancestral background (determined using 36 ancestry informative markers), Mycobacterium leprae genotype and/or patient geographical origin. We found significant differences between ancestral genetic composition. European components were predominant in Andean populations. In contrast, African components were higher in the Atlantic region. M. leprae genotypes were then analyzed for cluster associations and compared with the ancestral composition of leprosy patients. Two M. leprae principal clusters were found: haplotypes C54 and T45. Haplotype C54 associated with African origin and was more frequent in patients from the Atlantic region with a high African component. In contrast, haplotype T45 associated with European origin and was more frequent in Andean patients with a higher European component. These results suggest that the human and M. leprae genomes have co-existed since the African and European origins of the disease, with leprosy ultimately arriving in Colombia during colonization. Distinct M. leprae strains followed European and African settlement in the country and can be detected in contemporary Colombian populations.
    PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 09/2015; 9(9):e0004045. DOI:10.1371/journal.pntd.0004045 · 4.45 Impact Factor