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Free Content Molecular epidemiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in an urban area in Japan, 2002–2006

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SETTING: Shinjuku City, Tokyo, Japan.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the status of transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Shinjuku City to allocate resources efficiently and effectively for a successful tuberculosis (TB) control programme.

DESIGN: Observational descriptive study combining the genotype data of M. tuberculosis with TB patient profiles.

RESULTS: The genotype clustering rate was significantly higher in males (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.94, 95%CI 1.04–3.65, P = 0.038), patients aged <40 years (aOR 2.09, 95%CI 1.17–3.71, P = 0.012) and the homeless (aOR 2.72, 95%CI 1.42–5.20, P = 0.002), and was lower for the foreign-born (aOR 0.21, 95%CI 0.06–0.76, P = 0.017). Among 45 genotype clusters containing 152 TB patients, 26 clusters containing 102 patients (67.1%) were composed of a mix of homeless and non-homeless patients. One of the mixed clusters included an 8-month-old infant born in Japan.

CONCLUSION: The study revealed that M. tuberculosis transmission occurred more frequently among the homeless than in non-homeless persons. However, transmission by casual contact between the homeless and the general population was also shown to occur.
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Keywords: DNA fingerprinting; Shinjuku City; homeless persons; molecular epidemiology; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Research Institute of Tuberculosis, Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association, Kiyose, Japan 2: Shinjuku Public Health Centre, Shinjuku, Japan 3: Nishi-Shinjuku Health Centre, Shinjuku, Japan 4: Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Health, Shinjuku, Japan 5: National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Leprosy Research Centre, Higashimurayama, Japan

Publication date: May 1, 2008

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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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