Circulation of M. tuberculosis Beijing genotype in Latin America and the Caribbean
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Lineage 2 (East Asian), which includes the Beijing genotype, is one of the most prevalent lineages of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) throughout the world. The Beijing family is associated to hypervirulence and drug-resistant tuberculosis. The study of this genotype’s circulation in Latin America is crucial for achieving total control of TB, the goal established by the World Health Organization, for the American sub-continent, before 2035. In this sense, the present work presents an overview of the status of the Beijing genotype for this region, with a bibliographical review, and data analysis of MIRU-VNTRs for available Beijing isolates. Certain countries present a prevalent trend of <5%, suggesting low transmissibility for the region, with the exception of Cuba (17.2%), Perú (16%) and Colombia (5%). Minimum Spanning Tree analysis, obtained from MIRU-VNTR data, shows distribution of specific clonal complex strains in each country. From this data, in most countries, we found that molecular epidemiology has not been a tool used for the control of TB, suggesting that the Beijing genotype may be underestimated in Latin America. It is recommended that countries with the highest incidence of the Beijing genotype use effective control strategies and increased care, as a requirement for public health systems.