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Free Content The contribution of ethnicity to Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain clustering

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OBJECTIVE: Descriptive study of molecular epidemiologic patterns of tuberculosis cases among ethnic minorities in Houston, Texas.

DESIGN: Population-based, prospective, active surveillance, and molecular epidemiology study.

PATIENTS: Tuberculosis cases reported to the City of Houston Tuberculosis Control Office between October 1995 and September 1998.

RESULTS: During the study period, 1139 culture-positive patients were enrolled for whom isolates of their culture specimen were available. Of these, 910 were part of an ethnic minority. Molecular characterization identified 689 of 1139 isolates to be clonally related. Factors significantly associated with tuberculosis strain clustering in a multivariable logistic regression analysis were: birth in the United States, a history of homelessness, infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), pulmonary disease, infection with a tuberculosis strain from principal genetic group 1 or 3, living in a residence with five or more persons present, and use of public transportation more than once weekly. Asian ethnicity and increasing age were associated with decreased odds of clustering.

CONCLUSIONS: Ethnicity was not a significant covariate for strain clustering after adjustments for factors related to socio-economic status.
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Keywords: M. tuberculosis; RFLP; epidemiology; minorities

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA 2: Department of Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA 3: Department of Pathology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA 4: Laboratory of Human Bacterial Pathogenesis, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, Montana, USA 5: Departments of Medicine and Pathology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2001

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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 lung health world-wide.

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