J Clin Microbiol 2009 May 11;47(5):1581-4. Epub 2009 Mar 11.
National TB Reference Laboratory, University Hospital of Lung Diseases Shefqet Ndroqi, Tirana, Albania.
We characterized a set of 100 Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex clinical isolates from tuberculosis (TB) patients in Albania, typing them with a 24-locus variable-number tandem-repeat-spoligotyping scheme. Depending on the cluster definition, 43 to 49 patients were distributed into 15 to 16 clusters which were likely to be epidemiologically linked, indicative of a recent transmission rate of 28 to 34%. This result suggests that TB is under control in Albania. However, two multidrug-resistant (MDR) Beijing genotypes harboring the same S531A mutation on the rpoB gene were also found, suggesting a potential recent transmission of MDR TB. Three brand new genotypes, Albania-1 to Albania-3, are also described.