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One in Four Tuberculosis Cases Due to Recent Transmission

Risk varies by gender, ethnicity, and other factors

FRIDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- About one in four cases of tuberculosis in the United States can be attributed to recent transmission, with groups such as men and persons born in the United States at higher risk, according to a study published in the March issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

To estimate the proportion of tuberculosis transmission in the United States that could be attributed to recent transmission, Patrick K. Moonan, Dr.P.H., and colleagues from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, analyzed genotype data (spoligotyping and 12-locus mycobacterial interspersed repetitive unit-variable-number tandem repeat typing) from culture-positive tuberculosis cases reported between January 2005 to December 2009.

The researchers found that approximately one in four tuberculosis cases could be attributed to recent transmission. The groups deemed to be at highest risk were men, those born in the United States, members of racial or ethnic minority groups, substance abusers, and the homeless.

"Understanding transmission dynamics and establishing strategies for rapidly detecting recent transmission among these populations are essential for tuberculosis elimination in the United States," Moonan and colleagues conclude.

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