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Free Content Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis among high school students in Korea

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SETTING: Screening of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) patients from high school students by chest radiography and sputum examination.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis among high school students.

DESIGN: The restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) profiles of M. tuberculosis isolated from PTB patients of high school students were analysed.

RESULTS: Clustering cases were found in PTB patients screened among high school students. During this study, a single strain with a particular RFLP profile was found most frequently. This particular strain was also the one that was found to be most prevalent among Korean clinical isolates of M. tuberculosis during a nationwide TB prevalence survey previously done in 1995. This strain seems to be the most widely distributed one in Korea, and has thus been designated K1. In addition, by close examination of the RFLP profiles, it was also found that there existed 34 isolates that had RFLP profiles that were similar to the K1 strain. Therefore, K1 and K1-related strains (18.4% of strains, designated as the K family) seem to comprise the most dominant M. tuberculosis strains present in Korea.

CONCLUSION: Clustering cases were found in PTB patients screened among high school students in Korea. The K family was found to be most prevalent among the clinical isolates of M. tuberculosis found.
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Keywords: Korea; RFLP analysis; high school students; outbreaks; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Korean Institute of Tuberculosis, Korean National Tuberculosis Association, Seoul, Korea

Publication date: 01 September 2001

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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