Dynamics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Lineages in Oman, 2009 to 2018

Sara Al-Mahrouqi, Reham Ahmed, Saleh Al-Azri, Salama Al-Hamidhi, Abdullah A. Balkhair, Amina Al-Jardani, Amira Al-Fahdi, Laila Al-Balushi, Samia Al-Zadjali, Chamila Adikaram, Asmhan Al-Marhoubi, Amal Gadalla, Hamza A. Babiker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Effective Tuberculosis (TB) control measures in Oman have reduced the annual incidence of tuberculosis cases by 92% between 1981 and 2016. However, the current incidence remains above the program control target of <1 TB case per 100,000 population. This has been partly attributed to a high influx of migrants from countries with high TB burdens. The present study aimed to elucidate Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection dynamics among nationals and foreigners over a period of 10 years. Methods. The study examined TB cases reported between 2009 and 2018 and examined the spatial heterogeneity of TB cases and the distribution of M. tuberculosis genotypes defined by spoligotypes and MIRU-VNTR among Omanis and foreigners. Results. A total of 484 spoligoprofiles were detected among the examined isolates (n = 1295). These include 943 (72.8%) clustered and 352 (27.2%) unique isolates. Diverse M. tuberculosis lineages exist in all provinces in Oman, with most lineages shared between Omanis and foreigners. The most frequent spoligotypes were found to belong to EAI (318, 30.9%), CAS (310, 30.1%), T (154, 14.9%), and Beijing (88, 8.5%) lineages. However, the frequencies of these lineages differed between Omanis and foreigners. Of the clustered strains, 192 MTB isolates were further analysed via MIRU-VNTR. Each isolate exhibited a unique MIRU-VNTR profile, indicative of absence of ongoing transmission. Conclusions. TB incidence exhibits spatial heterogeneity across Oman, with high levels of diversity of M. tuberculosis lineages among Omanis and foreigners and sub-lineages shared between the two groups. However, MIRU-VNTR analysis ruled out ongoing transmission.

Original languageEnglish
Article number541
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 4 2022


  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Oman
  • TB incidence
  • spoligotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Molecular Biology
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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