Global expansion of Mycobacterium tuberculosis lineage 4 shaped by colonial migration and local adaptation

Ola B. Brynildsrud, Caitlin S. Pepperell, Philip Suffys, Louis Grandjean, Johana Monteserin, Nadia Debech, Jon Bohlin, Kristian Alfsnes, John O.H. Pettersson, Ingerid Kirkeleite, Fatima Fandinho, Marcia Aparecida da Silva, Joao Perdigao, Isabel Portugal, Miguel Viveiros, Taane Clark, Maxine Caws, Sarah Dunstan, Phan Vuong Khac Thai, Beatriz LopezViviana Ritacco, Andrew Kitchen, Tyler S. Brown, Dick van Soolingen, Mary B. O'Neill, Kathryn E. Holt, Edward J. Feil, Barun Mathema, Francois Balloux, Vegard Eldholm

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110 Citations (Scopus)
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On the basis of population genomic and phylogeographic analyses of 1669 Mycobacterium tuberculosis lineage 4 (L4) genomes, we find that dispersal of L4 has been completely dominated by historical migrations out of Europe. We demonstrate an intimate temporal relationship between European colonial expansion into Africa and the Americas and the spread of L4 tuberculosis (TB). Markedly, in the age of antibiotics, mutations conferring antimicrobial resistance overwhelmingly emerged locally (at the level of nations), with minimal cross-border transmission of resistance. The latter finding was found to reflect the relatively recent emergence of these mutations, as a similar degree of local restriction was observed for susceptible variants emerging on comparable time scales. The restricted international transmission of drug-resistant TB suggests that containment efforts at the level of individual countries could be successful.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereaat5869
Pages (from-to)eaat5869
Number of pages11
JournalScience Advances
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2018


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