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Gary Napier: Robust barcoding and identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis lineages for epidemiological and clinical studies

Using a large dataset (~35k samples) we updated a molecular barcode for pre-established Mycobacterium tuberculosis lineages and sublineages. This barcode was based on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) unique to each lineage. With the same dataset we identified new sublineages using phylogenetic trees and also barcoded for these

Tuberculosis, caused by bacteria in the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC), is a major global public health burden.

Strain-specific genomic diversity in the known lineages of MTBC is an important factor in pathogenesis that may affect virulence, transmissibility, host response and emergence of drug resistance. Fast and accurate tracking of MTBC strains is therefore crucial for infection control, and our previous work developed a 62-single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) barcode to inform on the phylogenetic identity of 7 human lineages and 64 sub-lineages.

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