Cell population heterogeneity in Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv

Núria Andreu, Isidre Gibert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The laboratory strain H37Rv represents one of the most commonly used strains in the study of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Despite the apparent stability of the strain, the absence of a selective pressure for virulence factors could lead to the in vitro accumulation of attenuated mutants. To assess this hypothesis, we performed a systematic analysis of individual clones isolated from subcultured M. tuberculosis H37Rv and from a non-subcultured frozen stock. First, we studied two virulence indicators: neutral red staining and content of phthiocerol dimycocerosates (PDIMs). We found that H37Rv formed a mixed population containing wild-type cells, as well as neutral red and PDIM mutants. Then, we compared the global gene expression of 3 isolated clones (which displayed various phenotypes) and the non-subcultured stock, by microarray analysis. This transcriptional profiling confirmed that a significant heterogeneity existed despite, and in addition to, the neutral red and PDIM phenotypes. These results strongly suggest that great caution must be taken in extrapolating data obtained with M. tuberculosis H37Rv grown in vitro, and it would be prudent to study several independent clones to obtain valid conclusions. For this purpose, the neutral red and PDIM phenotypes might be useful indicators of undesired heterogeneity. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-559
JournalTuberculosis
Volume88
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2008

Keywords

  • Neutral red
  • Phenotypic variation
  • Phthiocerol dimycocerosates
  • Population heterogeneity
  • Virulence instability

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Cell population heterogeneity in Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this