[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We used spoligotyping and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of the IS6110-insertion sequence to study the molecular epidemiology of multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis in Spain. We analyzed 180
Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex isolates collected between January 1998 and December 2000. Consecutive isolates from the same patients (n = 23) always had identical genotypes, meaning that no cases of reinfection occurred. A total of 105 isolates (58.3%) had
unique RFLP patterns, whereas 75 isolates (41.7%) were in 20 different RFLP clusters. Characterization of the katG and rpoB genes showed that 14 strains included in the RFLP clusters did not actually cluster. Only 33.8% of the strains isolated were
suggestive of MDR transmission, a frequency lower than that for susceptible strains in Spain (46.6%). We found that the Beijing/W
genotype, which is prevalent worldwide, was significantly associated with immigrants. The 22 isolates in the largest cluster
corresponded to the Mycobacterium bovis strain responsible for two nosocomial MDR outbreaks in Spain.