We performed spoligotyping and 12-mycobacterial interspersed repetitive unit-variable number tandem repeats(MIRU-VNTRs) typing to characterise Mycobacterium bovis
isolates collected from tissue samples of bovines with lesions suggestive for tuberculosis during slaughter inspection procedures in abattoirs in Brazil. High-quality genotypes were obtained with both procedures for 61 isolates that were obtained from 185 bovine tissue samples and all of these isolates were identified as M. bovis
by conventional identification procedures. On the basis of the spoligotyping, 53 isolates were grouped into nine clusters and the remaining eight isolates were unique types, resulting in 17 spoligotypes. The majority of the Brazilian M. bovis
isolates displayed spoligotype patterns that have been previously
observed in strains isolated from cattle in other countries. MIRU-VNTR typing produced 16 distinct genotypes, with 53 isolates forming eight of the groups, and individual isolates with unique VNTR profiles forming the remaining eight groups. The allelic diversity of each VNTR locus was calculated and only two of the 12-MIRU-VNTR loci presented scores with either a moderate (0.4, MIRU16) or high (0.6, MIRU26) discriminatory index (h). Both typing methods produced similar discriminatory indexes (spoligotyping h = 0.85; MIRU-VNTR h = 0.86) and the combination of the two methods increased the h value to 0.94, resulting in 29 distinct patterns. These results confirm that spoligotyping and VNTR analysis are valuable tools for studying the molecular epidemiology of M. bovis
infections in Brazil.