The Beijing genotype comprises a highly disseminated strain type that is frequently associated with multidrug resistant (MDR) tuberculosis (TB) and increased transmissibility but, countries such as Portugal and Guinea-Bissau fall outside the regions phylogeographically associated with this specific genotype. Nevertheless, recent data shows that this genotype might be gradually emerging in these two countries as an underlying cause of primary MDR-TB. Here, we describe the emergence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Beijing strains associated with MDR-TB in Portugal and Guinea-Bissau demonstrating the presence of the well described superclusters 100-32 and 94-32 in Portugal and Guinea-Bissau, respectively. Genome-wide analysis and comparison with a global genomic dataset of M. tuberculosis Beijing strains, revealed the presence of two genomic clusters encompassing isolates from Portugal and Guinea-Bissau, GC1 (n = 121) and GC2 (n = 39), both of which bore SNP signatures compatible with the 100-32/B0/W148 and 94-32/Central Asia Outbreak clades, respectively. Moreover, GC2 encompasses a cross-border cluster between Portugal, Guinea-Bissau and Brazil thus supporting migration-associated introduction of MDR-TB and subsequent clonal expansion at the community-level. The comparison with global Beijing datasets demonstrates the global reach of the disease and its complex dissemination across multiple countries while in parallel there are clear microevolutionary trajectories towards extensively drug resistant TB.
- MtbC15-9 94-32
- MtbC15-9 100-32