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Free Content Genotyping in contact investigations: a CDC perspective

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Genotyping of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates has been widely used to support investigations of outbreaks and as a tool for studying transmission dynamics and other aspects of tuberculosis epidemiology. Its applications to contact investigations are more limited. Targeted typing can be used to confirm or disprove suspected relationships among cases. Universal typing of isolates can be used to identify unsuspected transmission and broaden the scope of contact investigations. In order to properly use the results, one must understand the nature of the changes in the M. tuberculosis genome that produce the heterogeneity reflected in the genotypes, and understand the discriminatory power of the various methods. IS6110 fingerprinting provides the highest discriminatory power, but can be a slow process. Spoligotyping and MIRU-VNTR are PCR-based methods that provide faster turnaround and produce digital results that facilitate comparisons. Appropriately used, isolate genotyping can be a useful adjunct to standard contact investigations.

Keywords: Mycobacterium tuberculosis; epidemiology; genotyping

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Tuberculosis/Mycobacteriology Branch, Division of AIDS, STD, and TB Laboratory Research, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Publication date: 2003-12-01

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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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