Table of Contents
International Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 937434, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2011/937434
Review Article

Prevalence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Taiwan: A Model for Strain Evolution Linked to Population Migration

1Division of Infectious Diseases, National Health Research Institutes, No. 35, Keyan Road, Zhunan Town, Miaoli County 350, Taiwan
2Department of Pathology, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Tainan 704, Taiwan

Received 14 October 2010; Accepted 20 December 2010

Academic Editor: Shinji Kondo

Copyright © 2011 Horng-Yunn Dou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The global evolution and spread of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), one of the most successful bacterial pathogens, remain a mystery. Advances in molecular technology in the past decade now make it possible to understand MTB strain evolution and transmission in the context of human population migration. Taiwan is a relatively isolated island, serving as a mixing vessel over the past four centuries as colonization by different waves of ethnic groups occurred. By using mycobacterial tandem repeat sequences as genetic markers, the prevalence of MTB strains in Taiwan revealed an interesting association with historical migrations of different ethnic populations, thus providing a good model to explore the global evolution and spread of MTB.