Journal of Infectious Diseases and Treatment Open Access

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Short Communication - (2023) Volume 9, Issue 11

Signatures of Transmission in Within-Host Mycobacterium tuberculosis Variation
Kay Theodore*
Department of Public Health, University of Warwick, UK
*Correspondence: Kay Theodore, Department of Public Health, University of Warwick, UK, Email:

Received: 29-Nov-2023, Manuscript No. IPJIDT-24-18811; Editor assigned: 01-Dec-2023, Pre QC No. IPJIDT-24-18811 (PQ); Reviewed: 15-Dec-2023, QC No. IPJIDT-24-18811; Revised: 20-Dec-2023, Manuscript No. IPJIDT-24-18811 (R); Published: 27-Dec-2023, DOI: 10.36648/2472-1093-9.11.109


Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB), is a highly successful human pathogen that exhibits a remarkable degree of genetic diversity within infected individuals. Understanding the signatures of transmission in within-host M. tuberculosis variation provides insights into the dynamics of TB transmission, evolution, and the development of drug resistance. This intricate interplay between the bacterium and its host contributes to the complex landscape of TB epidemiology. Within-host variation in M. tuberculosis is a consequence of the pathogen’s ability to adapt and evolve during the course of infection. Genomic studies have revealed that M. tuberculosis populations within individual hosts can display heterogeneity in their genetic makeup, a phenomenon known as within-host diversity. This diversity arises through a combination of factors, including spontaneous mutations, selective pressures imposed by the host immune system, and exposure to antimicrobial treatments.


Signatures of transmission in within-host M. tuberculosis variation become apparent when comparing the genomic profiles of strains isolated from different individuals. Transmission events, where one individual infects another, leave distinct genetic imprints on the pathogen’s genome. Genomic epidemiology, a field that integrates genomic data with epidemiological information, enables the identification of these transmission signatures. By analyzing the genetic relatedness of M. tuberculosis strains isolated from different individuals, researchers can reconstruct transmission chains and trace the spread of the bacterium within communities. Specific genomic markers, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) or insertion sequences, serve as signatures that link strains to common transmission sources. This approach is particularly valuable in epidemiological investigations and contact tracing efforts to identify and control TB outbreaks. Within-host M. tuberculosis variation also plays a role in the emergence of drug resistance, adding another layer of complexity to TB control. Subpopulations of drug-resistant strains can coexist with drug-sensitive strains within the same host. The selective pressure exerted by antibiotic treatment may lead to the expansion of drug-resistant subpopulations, contributing to treatment failure and the development of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying within-host M. tuberculosis variation is crucial for designing effective control strategies. Factors such as the host immune response, the anatomical location of infection, and the duration of infection influence the dynamics of withinhost diversity. Targeting interventions that modulate these factors may offer avenues for limiting within-host variation and reducing the risk of transmission. Advancements in sequencing technologies have accelerated the exploration of within-host M. tuberculosis variation. High-throughput wholegenome sequencing allows for comprehensive analyses of M. tuberculosis genomes, uncovering fine-scale genetic changes that occur during infection. The integration of genomic data with clinical and epidemiological information enhances our ability to decipher the factors influencing within-host variation and transmission dynamics [1-4].


In summary, the signatures of transmission in within-host M. tuberculosis variation provide a nuanced perspective on the intricate relationship between the bacterium and its human host. Genomic epidemiology and advanced sequencing technologies have revolutionized our ability to unravel transmission chains, trace the spread of TB, and understand the emergence of drug resistance. As research in this field advances, the insights gained will contribute to more targeted and effective strategies for TB control and prevention.



Conflict Of Interest

The author declares there is no conflict of interest in publishing this article.


Citation: Theodor K (2023) Signatures of Transmission in within-host Mycobacterium tuberculosis Variation. J Infect Dis Treat. 9:109.

Copyright: © 2023 Theodor K. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.