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Free Content Ten-year population-based molecular epidemiological study of tuberculosis transmission in the metropolitan area of Madrid, Spain

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SETTING: The epidemiology of tuberculosis (TB) in urban populations is changing. Combining conventional epidemiological techniques with DNA fingerprinting of Mycobacterium tuberculosis can improve our understanding of how TB is transmitted.

OBJECTIVE: To improve the definition of molecular epidemiology of TB over 10 years in an area of Europe not previously studied.

DESIGN: A population-based retrospective study was conducted in the Autonomous Community of Madrid, Spain, from 1992 to 1998; from 1999 to 2001, the study was prospective. The study population consisted of all patients for whom positive culture and full clinical and demographic data were available. All strains were typed by RFLP. Non-clustered patients were compared with clustered patients and studied using univariate analysis and a logistic regression model.

RESULTS: Of 448 patients studied, 228 (50.7%) were clustered. Youth was the strongest risk factor associated with clustering. Pleural effusion was also found to be associated with clustering. An epidemiological link was found in only 85 (37.4%) of the 228 patients belonging to a cluster.

CONCLUSION: Youth and pleural effusion were identified as risk factors for clustering. These findings may help adjust TB control and contact tracing strategies.

Keywords: RFLP; epidemiology; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Servicio de Microbiología, Hospital Universitario de Getafe, Getafe, Madrid, Spain 2: Servicio de Salud Pública, Comunidad de Madrid, Getafe, Madrid, Spain 3: Servicio de Neumología, Hospital Universitario de Getafe, Getafe, Madrid, Spain 4: Laboratory of Mycobacterium Genetic Group, Medicine Faculty of Saragossa University, Saragossa, Spain

Publication date: November 1, 2005

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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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