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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

versión impresa ISSN 0074-0276versión On-line ISSN 1678-8060


DIAZ, R et al. Transmission of tuberculosis in Havana, Cuba: a molecular epidemiological study by IS6110 restriction fragment length polymorphism typing. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 2001, vol.96, n.4, pp.437-443. ISSN 0074-0276.

The combination of molecular and conventional epidemiological methods has improved the knowledge about the transmission of tuberculosis in urban populations. To examine transmission of tuberculosis in Havana, Cuba, with DNA fingerprinting, we studied 51 out of 92 Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains isolated from tuberculosis patients who resided in Havana and whose infection was culture-confirmed in the period from September 1997 to March 1998. Isolates from 28 patients (55%) had unique IS6110 restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) patterns, while isolates from 23 others (45%) had identical patterns and belonged to 7 clusters. Three clusters consisting of six, five and two cases were each related to small outbreaks that occurred in a closed setting. Three other clustered cases were linked to a large outbreak that occurred in another institution. Younger patients were more correlated to clustering than older ones. The finding that 45% of the isolates had clustered RFLP patterns suggests that recent transmission is a key factor in the tuberculosis cases in Havana. The IS6110 RFLP typing made it possible to define the occurrence of outbreaks in two closed institutions.

Palabras clave : DNA fingerprinting; epidemiology; IS6110 RFLP; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; transmission; Havana; Cuba.

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