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Free Content Identification of a familial cluster of pulmonary Mycobacterium bovis disease [Case Study]

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SETTING: Local public health department.

DESIGN: Retrospective review of a cluster of three pulmonary Mycobacterium bovis cases occurring in a family, with genotyping of M. bovis strains isolated from the family members.

RESULTS: The genotypes of the M. bovis isolates were identical, as determined by three different methods: IS6110 restriction fragment length polymorphism, spoligoytping and mycobacterial interspersed repetitive units–variable number tandem repeat analyses.

CONCLUSION: The identification of three acid-fast bacilli (AFB) smear-positive pulmonary M. bovis cases, presenting in a single family and caused by an identical strain, suggests that person-to-person transmission of this organism may have occurred, although infection of one or more family members through ingestion of a contaminated dairy product could not be excluded.

Keywords: Mycobacterium bovis; genotyping; molecular epidemiology; tuberculosis

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: 1: Tuberculosis Control Program, San Diego County, San Diego, California, USA 2: AIDS, STD, and TB Laboratory Research, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA 3: Microbial Diseases Laboratory, California Department of Health Services, Berkeley, California, USA 4: Public Health Laboratory, San Diego County, San Diego, California, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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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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