Frequent transmission of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Beijing lineage and positive selection for the EsxW Beijing variant in Vietnam Academic Article uri icon


  • To examine the transmission dynamics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) isolated from tuberculosis patients in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, we sequenced the whole genomes of 1,635 isolates and compared these with 3,144 isolates from elsewhere. The data identify an underlying burden of disease caused by the endemic Mtb lineage 1 associated with the activation of long-term latent infection, and a threefold higher burden associated with the more recently introduced Beijing lineage and lineage 4 Mtb strains. We find that Beijing lineage Mtb is frequently transferred between Vietnam and other countries, and detect higher levels of transmission of Beijing lineage strains within this host population than the endemic lineage 1 Mtb. Screening for parallel evolution of Beijing lineage-associated SNPs in other Mtb lineages as a signal of positive selection, we identify an alteration in the ESX-5 type VII-secreted protein EsxW, which could potentially contribute to the enhanced transmission of Beijing lineage Mtb in Vietnamese and other host populations.


  • Holt, Kathryn E
  • McAdam, Paul
  • Thai, Phan Vuong Khac
  • Thuong, Nguyen Thuy Thuong
  • Ha, Dang Thi Minh
  • Lan, Nguyen Ngoc
  • Lan, Nguyen Huu
  • Nhu, Nguyen Thi Quynh
  • Hai, Hoang Thanh
  • Ha, Vu Thi Ngoc
  • Thwaites, Guy
  • Edwards, David J
  • Nath, Artika P
  • Pham, Kym
  • Ascher, David B
  • Farrar, Jeremy
  • Khor, Chiea Chuen
  • Teo, Yik Ying
  • Inouye, Michael
  • Caws, Maxine
  • Dunstan, Sarah J

publication date

  • 2018