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Free Content The role of molecular epidemiology in contact investigations: a US perspective

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Abstract:

Preventing tuberculosis (TB) transmission through treatment of active cases and contact investigation is the highest priority of TB control programs in the United States. The role of contact investigation is becoming increasingly important as the number of TB cases declines nationally. However, the effectiveness of contact investigation has been difficult to assess because, prior to the availability of molecular genotyping techniques, levels of transmission were crudely measurable. Epidemiological links within and outside the traditional concentric circle approach are limited by the quality of the contact investigation, the skill and knowledge of the investigator and the information provided by the patient. Molecular epidemiology has added a new dimension by enabling the recognition of unsuspected transmission, likely locations of transmission, and quantification of the extent of transmission that is occurring within a given population. In the future, as real-time genotyping becomes more available, the role of molecular epidemiology is likely to expand.

Keywords: Mycobacterium tuberculosis; contacts; genotyping; tuberculosis; tuberculosis control

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA; and the F J Curry National Tuberculosis Center, San Francisco, California, USA 2: Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA; F J Curry National Tuberculosis Center, San Francisco, California, USA; and the Tuberculosis Control Section, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, California, 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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