Evolutionary History and Ongoing Transmission of Phylogenetic Sublineages of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Beijing Genotype in China.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis Beijing genotype originated in China and has undergone a dramatic population growth and global spread in the last century. Here, a collection of M. tuberculosis Beijing family isolates from different provinces across all China was genotyped by high-resolution (24-MIRU-VNTR) and low-resolution, high-rank (modern and ancient sublineages) markers. The molecular profiles and global and local phylogenies were compared to the strain phenotype and patient data. The phylogeographic patterns observed in the studied collection demonstrate that large-scale (but not middle/small-scale) distance remains one of the decisive factors of the genetic divergence of M. tuberculosis populations. Analysis of diversity and network topology of the local collections appears to corroborate a recent intriguing hypothesis about Beijing genotype originating in South China. Placing our results within the Eurasian context suggested that important Russian B0/W148 and Asian/Russian A0/94-32 epidemic clones of the Beijing genotype could trace their origins to the northeastern and northwestern regions of China, respectively. The higher clustering of the modern isolates in children and lack of increased MDR rate in any sublineage suggest that not association with drug resistance but other (e.g., speculatively, virulence-related) properties underlie an enhanced dissemination of the evolutionarily recent, modern sublineage of the Beijing genotype in China.