We present a short summary of recent observations on the global distribution of the major clades of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, the causative agent of tuberculosis. This global distribution was defined by data-mining of an international spoligotyping database, SpolDB3. This database contains 11708 patterns from as many clinical isolates originating from more than 90 countries. The 11708 spoligotypes were clustered into 813 shared types. A total of 1300 orphan patterns (clinical isolates showing a unique spoligotype) were also detected.