Nov 13, 2015

Diversity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis across Evolutionary Scales

PLoS Pathogens
Mary B O'NeillCaitlin S Pepperell

Abstract

Tuberculosis (TB) is a global public health emergency. Increasingly drug resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) continue to emerge and spread, highlighting adaptability of this pathogen. Most studies of M.tb evolution have relied on 'between-host' samples, in which each person with TB is represented by a single M.tb isolate. However, individuals with TB commonly harbor populations of M.tb numbering in the billions. Here, we use analyses of M.tb genomic data from within and between hosts to gain insight into influences shaping genetic diversity of this pathogen. We find that the amount of M.tb genetic diversity harbored by individuals with TB can vary dramatically, likely as a function of disease severity. Surprisingly, we did not find an appreciable impact of TB treatment on M.tb diversity. In examining genomic data from M.tb samples within and between hosts with TB, we find that genes involved in the regulation, synthesis, and transportation of immunomodulatory cell envelope lipids appear repeatedly in the extremes of various statistical measures of diversity. Many of these genes have been identified as possible targets of selection in other studies employing different methods and data sets. Taken together, the...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Metabolic Process, Cellular
Study
Genome
Tuberculosis
Genes
Regulation of Biological Process
Pathogenic Organism
Structure of Tectobulbar Tract
Cell Wall
Genomics

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