British Leprosy Relief Association
Identification and comparison of Mycobacterium leprae genotypes in two geographical regions of Colombia
aInstituto Colombiano de Medicina Tropical (ICMT) – Universidad CES, Sabaneta, Antioquia, Colombia
bE.S.E. Hospital General de Barranquilla, Barranquilla, Atlántico, Colombia
cSanatorio Agua de Dios E.S.E., Hospital Herrera Restrepo, Agua de Dios, Cundinamarca, Colombia
dDepartment of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1682, USA
Correspondence to: Nora Cardona-Castro, Instituto Colombiano de Medicina Tropical (ICMT) – Universidad CES, Cra 43A No. 52 Sur 99. Sabaneta, Antioquia, Colombia (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
To evaluate and establish genomic strain typing markers suitable for the identification of transmission patterns of leprosy in different regions of Colombia.
Patients from Agua de Dios, Barranquilla and Cartagena cities and neighbouring towns were enrolled during 2006–2007. Slit skin smears or biopsies were obtained from newly detected untreated patients, and those undergoing multidrug therapy. DNA was extracted from the clinical samples and tested using 15 different short tandem repeat and three SNP polymorphic markers.
Results and Conclusion
Differences or similarities between strain types from the northeast (n =20) and central regions of Colombia (n =18) were noted. The alleles at two loci, 27-5 and 12-5 were different in the M. leprae in the two regions. The other microsatellite loci may be useful for further intra-population differentiation. There was strong association of 27-5 and 12-5 alleles with the SNP types. The 4-5 combination of alleles was associated with SNP type 3, while the 5-4 combination was mostly associated with SNP type 1, 2 or 4. The SNP type 4 M. leprae isolates were seen in patients in the northeast, but not in the central part.