1993 Volume 37 Issue 4 Pages 289-294
Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of a large number of Japanese isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, containing isolates from small outbreaks of M. tuberculosis infection, and clinical isolates of M. bovis BCG, was carried out using a DNA probe derived from the insertion sequence IS986. Clinical isolates of M. tuberculosis had a high degree of RFLP. The occurrences of the IS element varied from 1 to 19, the majority of isolates having 8 to 15 copies. Very similar fingerprints, however, were seen among strains isolated in the Kanto district. In particular, 3 strains were of the same pattern with or without an additional band. Similarity of the banding patterns of strains islated in the same district was observed in other areas. Six groups of strains, each group arising from a suspected common source of infection, were analyzed. Of these, 5 showed identical fingerprints within each group, but one showed different fingerprints. RFLP patterns of three strains isolated from individuals with lymphadenitis developed about two months after BCG vaccination, and one strain isolated from a bladder cancer patient with BCG instillation therapy were identical to those of BCG-Tokyo which had been used for the vaccination and therapy. These results confirm that RFLP analysis using IS986 is a suitable tool for epidemiology of tuberculosis.