Spoligotype diversity of Mycobacterium bovis strains isolated in France from 1979 to 2000

N. Haddad*, A. Ostyn, C. Karoui, M. Masselot, M. F. Thorel, S. L. Hughes, J. Inwald, R. G. Hewinson, B. Durand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)


The molecular fingerprints of 1,349 isolates of Mycobacterium bovis received between 1979 and August 2000 at Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments (Afssa) have been obtained by spoligotyping. The majority of the isolates (1,266) were obtained from cattle living in France. An apparently high level of heterogeneity was observed between isolates. One hundred sixty-one spoligotypes were observed in total, of which 153 were from French isolates. The two predominant spoligotypes, designated BCG-like and GB54, accounted for 26 and 12% of the isolates, respectively. In addition, 84% of the spoligotypes were found fewer than 10 times. Analysis of the results by clustering and parsimony-based algorithms revealed that the majority of the spoligotypes were closely related. The predominant spoligotype was identical to that of the vaccine strain Mycobacterium bovis BCG, which was isolated in France at the end of the 19th century. Some spoligotypes were closely associated with restricted geographical areas. Interestingly, some spoligotypes, which were frequently observed in France, were also observed in neighboring countries. Conversely, few spoligotypes were common to France and England, and those that were shared were observed at very different frequencies. This last point illustrates the potential role for an international data bank, which could help trace the spread of M. bovis across national borders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3623-3632
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number10
Early online date01 Oct 2001
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2001


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