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Free Content Clustering of tuberculosis among Senegalese immigrants in Italy

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OBJECTIVE: To study clustered Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates as an indicator of recent TB transmission in a small urban setting in Italy, and to determine associated risk factors.

METHODS: M. tuberculosis strains isolated between 1991 and 1997 were characterised by IS6110 restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis.

RESULTS: One hundred and ninety-five isolates were available for RFLP analysis, which revealed 163 different patterns. Available cases were represented by 137 Italians (70%), 32 Senegalese (17%), and 26 other foreign-born cases (13%). A unique fingerprint pattern was found in 143 cases (73.3%), while 52 strains (26.7%) were grouped into 20 clusters. Nineteen cases (10%) were resident in the same quarter of Brescia with a high density of Senegalese immigrants (Area A). An increased probability of yielding clustered M. tuberculosis strains was associated with residence in Area A (OR 3.87, 95%CI 1.42–10.56; P = 0.02) and being Senegalese (OR = 5.96, 95%CI 1.48–23.97; P = 0.005). In the logistic regression analysis, being Senegalese was independently associated with yielding a clustered M. tuberculosis strain.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate a clustering of TB cases among Senegalese immigrants and suggest that RFLP analysis may be used to identify geographical areas where efforts can be targeted to interrupt TB transmission.
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Keywords: RFLP; immigrants; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Infectious Diseases, Institute of Infectious Diseases, Brescia, Italy 2: Department of Infectious Diseases, Institute of Infectious Diseases, Milano, Italy 3: Department of Microbiology, Division of Microbiology, Brescia, Italy

Publication date: October 1, 2003

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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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