Evaluation of the discriminatory power of spoligotyping and 19-locus mycobacterial interspersed repetitive unit-variable number of tandem repeat analysis (MIRU-VNTR) of Mycobacterium bovis strains isolated from cattle in Algeria
Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) caused by Mycobacterium (M.) bovis and M. caprae is a transmissible disease of livestock, notifiable to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). BTB particularly affects cattle and small ruminants and can be transmitted to humans thereby posing a significant threat to veterinary and public health worldwide. M. bovis is the principal cause of bTB in Algeria. In order to better understand the route of spreading and elaborate an eradication program, isolation and characterization of mycobacteria from Algerian cattle was performed. Sixty strains belonging to the M. tuberculosis complex were analyzed by spoligotyping, thereof 42 by 19-locus-MIRU-VNTR-typing. Spoligotyping revealed 16 distinguishable patterns (Hunter-Gaston discriminatory index [HGDI] of 0.8294), with types SB0120 (n = 20) and SB0121 (n = 13) being the most frequent patterns, representing 55% of the strains. Analyses based on 19-locus-MIRU-VNTR yielded 32 different profiles, five clusters and one orphan pattern, showing higher discriminatory power (HGDI = 0.9779) than spoligotyping. Seven VNTR-loci [VNTR 577 (alias ETR C), 2163b (QU11b), 2165 (ETR A), 2461 (ETR B), 3007 (MIRU 27), 2163a (QUB11a) and 3232 (QUB 3232)] were the most discriminative loci (HGDI ˃ 0.50). In conclusion, 19-locus-MIRU-VNTR yielded more information than spoligotyping concerning molecular differentiation of strains and better supports the elucidation of transmission routes of M. bovis between Algerian cattle herds.