Whole genome SNP analysis suggests unique virulence factor differences of the Beijing and Manila families of Mycobacterium tuberculosis found in Hawaii

Kent Koster, Angela Largen, Jeffrey T. Foster, Kevin P. Drees, Lishi Qian, Edward P. Desmond, Xuehua Wan, Shaobin Hou, James T. Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


While tuberculosis (TB) remains a global disease, the WHO estimates that 62% of the incident TB cases in 2016 occurred in the WHO South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions. TB in the Pacific is composed predominantly of two genetic families of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb): Beijing and Manila. The Manila family is historically under-studied relative to the families that comprise the majority of TB in Europe and North America (e.g. lineage 4), and it remains unclear why this lineage has persisted in Filipino populations despite the predominance of more globally successful Mtb lineages in most of the world. The Beijing family is of particular interest as it is increasingly associated with drug resistance throughout the world. Both of these lineages are important to the State of Hawaii, where they comprise over two-thirds of TB cases. Here, we performed whole genome sequencing on 82 Beijing family, Manila family, and outgroup clinical Mtb isolates from Hawaii to identify lineage-specific SNPs (SNPs found in all isolates from their respective families, and exclusively in those families) in established virulence factor genes. Six non-silent lineage-specific virulence factor SNPs were found in the Beijing family, including mutations in alternative sigma factor sigG and polyketide synthases pks5 and pks7. The Manila family displayed more than eleven non-silent lineage-specific and characteristic virulence factor mutations, including in genes coding for MCE-family protein Mce1B, two mutations in fatty-acid-AMP ligase FadD26, and virulence-regulating transcriptional regulator VirS. This study further identified an ancient clade that shared some virulence factor mutations with the Manila family, and investigated the relationship of those and other “Manila-like” spoligotypes to the Manila family with this SNP dataset. This work identified a set of virulence genes that are worth pursuing to determine potential differences in transmission or virulence displayed by these two Mtb families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0201146
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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