Evolutionary history and global spread of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Beijing lineage.

Merker, Matthias; Blin, Camille; Mona, Stefano; Duforet-Frebourg, Nicolas; Lecher, Sophie; Willery, Eve; Blum, Michael G B; Rüsch-Gerdes, Sabine; Mokrousov, Igor; Aleksic, Eman; Allix-Béguec, Caroline; Antierens, Annick; Augustynowicz-Kopeć, Ewa; Ballif, Marie; Barletta, Francesca; Beck, Hans Peter; Barry, Clifton E; Bonnet, Maryline; Borroni, Emanuele; Campos-Herrero, Isolina; ... (2015). Evolutionary history and global spread of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Beijing lineage. Nature genetics, 47(3), pp. 242-249. Nature America 10.1038/ng.3195

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Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains of the Beijing lineage are globally distributed and are associated with the massive spread of multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis in Eurasia. Here we reconstructed the biogeographical structure and evolutionary history of this lineage by genetic analysis of 4,987 isolates from 99 countries and whole-genome sequencing of 110 representative isolates. We show that this lineage initially originated in the Far East, from where it radiated worldwide in several waves. We detected successive increases in population size for this pathogen over the last 200 years, practically coinciding with the Industrial Revolution, the First World War and HIV epidemics. Two MDR clones of this lineage started to spread throughout central Asia and Russia concomitantly with the collapse of the public health system in the former Soviet Union. Mutations identified in genes putatively under positive selection and associated with virulence might have favored the expansion of the most successful branches of the lineage.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

UniBE Contributor:

Ballif, Marie


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services




Nature America




Doris Kopp Heim

Date Deposited:

23 Feb 2016 15:57

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:53

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