European 1: A globally important clonal complex of Mycobacterium bovis

Centre for Study of Evolution, University of Sussex, Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Weybridge, New Haw, Surrey KT15 3NB, UK.
Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases (Impact Factor: 3.02). 05/2011; 11(6):1340-51. DOI: 10.1016/j.meegid.2011.04.027
Source: PubMed


We have identified a globally important clonal complex of Mycobacterium bovis by deletion analysis of over one thousand strains from over 30 countries. We initially show that over 99% of the strains of M. bovis, the cause of bovine tuberculosis, isolated from cattle in the Republic of Ireland and the UK are closely related and are members of a single clonal complex marked by the deletion of chromosomal region RDEu1 and we named this clonal complex European 1 (Eu1). Eu1 strains were present at less than 14% of French, Portuguese and Spanish isolates of M. bovis but are rare in other mainland European countries and Iran. However, strains of the Eu1 clonal complex were found at high frequency in former trading partners of the UK (USA, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Canada). The Americas, with the exception of Brazil, are dominated by the Eu1 clonal complex which was at high frequency in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Mexico as well as North America. Eu1 was rare or absent in the African countries surveyed except South Africa. A small sample of strains from Taiwan were non-Eu1 but, surprisingly, isolates from Korea and Kazakhstan were members of the Eu1 clonal complex. The simplest explanation for much of the current distribution of the Eu1 clonal complex is that it was spread in infected cattle, such as Herefords, from the UK to former trading partners, although there is evidence of secondary dispersion since. This is the first identification of a globally dispersed clonal complex M. bovis and indicates that much of the current global distribution of this important veterinary pathogen has resulted from relatively recent International trade in cattle.

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    • "Using deletion analysis on over a thousand M. bovis isolates from across the world, Smith and co-workers recently identified a globally important clonal complex of M. bovis characterized by deletion of a genomic locus named RDEu1. While this group of M. bovis isolates are frequently found in UK, Ireland and their former commercial partners including South Africa, USA and Australia and even Kazakhstan but they have not been reported from Iran until now (33). Similarly, African 1 and African 2 clones of M. bovis seem that are frequently observed in Africa are not presents in Iran (34). "
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    • "Recent work has characterised M. bovis isolates and reported that regional clonal complexes predominating in specific areas occur, for example Af1 M. bovis complex in westcentral Africa (Muller et al. 2009), Af2 prevalent in East Africa (Berg et al. 2011) as well as European 1 with European origin (Smith et al. 2011). Thus we do not yet know for certain whether M. bovis is an endemic or alien disease to Africa, or whether it is endemic to some areas (e.g. "
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