Population-based studies have used DNA typing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis organisms to estimate the extent of ongoing tuberculosis transmission in various communities and to characterize associated risk factors. The finding of matched DNA "fingerprints" among isolates from an immigrant subgroup may reflect transmission in the adopted country but could also reflect limited diversity among M. tuberculosis organisms within that immigrant community. The authors sought to determine which hypothesis is more likely to explain the high frequency of matched isolates among Haitian-born tuberculosis patients in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The authors determined the number of different bacterial genotypes in this community as compared with other foreign-born tuberculosis patients and applied a recently described measure of genetic similarity between M. tuberculosis organisms ("genetic distance"). Among 76 Haitian-born tuberculosis patients diagnosed during 1996-1998, the authors identified 47 distinct genotypes on the basis of standard IS6110 DNA typing and categorical analysis. In genetic distance analysis, these 47 genotypes showed as great a genetic diversity as that observed among the 191 distinct genotypes identified in 216 other foreign-born tuberculosis patients. A mycobacterial "founder effect" is unlikely to account for the high proportion of shared isolates among Haitian-born Montrealers. Recent transmission remains the most likely explanation.
The association of tuberculosis (TB) with poverty has long been recognized, yet it may reflect not only characteristics of poor individuals, but also housing and neighborhood features which promote airborne spread. We sought to determine whether dwelling and building features, residential density and crowding are independently associated with TB occurrence in a low-incidence setting. We used residential addresses to geocode active TB cases reported in Montreal in 1996-2000. These "case dwellings" were linked to the municipal dwelling geodatabase from 2000, and to Canadian census data from 1996. We compared them with randomly selected Montreal dwellings ("controls," in a 1:10 ratio), using the same data sources. From multivariate logistic regression, the 595 case dwellings were more likely than the 5950 control dwellings to be in buildings >5 stories tall (adjusted odds ratios [OR] 1.6; 95% CI: 1.0-2.5), constructed since 1970 (adjusted OR 2.5; 1.8-3.6), in the lowest quartile for resale valuation (adjusted OR 1.3; 1.0-1.6), and on blocks where lot coverage exceeded the median value (adjusted OR 1.3; 1.0-1.6). Case dwellings were also more often found in census tracts with more persons per room, and a higher proportion of inhabitants who had arrived in Canada within the last 5 years. We conclude that dwelling and building features-notably dwellings in taller and new buildings, with lower resale value, and dwellings on blocks with high residential density-as well as crowding, were associated with TB occurrence, after adjustment for sociodemographic factors.
An unusually high prevalence of pyrazinamide (PZA) monoresistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis has been observed in Quebec. In the absence of a recognized outbreak, we hypothesized that these isolates most likely represented reactivation of an old endemic strain in this low-incidence area. A case-control study of 77 PZA-resistant isolates with a specific Quebec mutation and 253 PZA-susceptible control M. tuberculosis isolates was undertaken. By molecular analysis, all 77 case isolates shared a unique mutation profile in the pncA gene which was not present in control isolates. While control isolates manifested diverse IS6110 restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) patterns, spoligotypes, and major genetic groups, case isolates had similar but nonidentical IS6110 RFLP patterns, had common spoligotypes, and were confined to one major genetic group, suggesting a common clonal ancestor. By epidemiologic and geographic analyses, however, there were no significant differences between the cases and the controls. We conclude that a clonally related family of PZA-monoresistant M. tuberculosis isolates in Quebec represents historic rather than recent transmission.
Cites: J Med Microbiol. 2002 Jan;51(1):11-211800467