Transmission of tuberculosis between people of different ages in The Netherlands: an analysis using DNA fingerprinting
METHODS: Using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) typing on all Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates in the Netherlands from 1993 to 1996, clusters with identical fingerprints were identified. The correlation between the ages of people in clusters of two Dutch patients was determined.
RESULTS: The mean difference in age between the two people, in 81 clusters of two, was 13.9 years, while the mean age difference between all possible pairs of individuals in this data set was 25.5 years. Fisher's intra-class correlation coefficient was 0.62 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.46–0.74).
CONCLUSION: It is concluded that sources of tuberculosis may preferentially transmit infection to people close to their own age. As the average age of cases has increased in the period 1950–1980, sources may have become less likely to infect children in whom the risk of infection has been measured. The annual risk of infection measured in children and young adults in countries with low levels of tuberculosis may not apply to older members of the population.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Publication date: 1999-03-01
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