Universal genotyping reveals province-level differences in the molecular epidemiology of tuberculosis.


We recommend expanding analysis of shared genotypes to include neighbouring jurisdictions, and implementing whole genome sequencing to improve identification of TB transmission, recognize outbreaks, and monitor changing trends in TB epidemiology.

The demographic characteristics of persons with TB varied between provinces, most notably in the proportion of persons born outside Canada, which was reflected in the large number of unique genotypes (n = 3,461). The proportion of clustered isolates was significantly higher in BC. Substantial clustering amongst non-Lineage 4 TB strains was observed within and across the provinces. Only two large clusters (≥10 cases/cluster) representing within province transmission had interprovincial genotype matches.

Compare the molecular epidemiology of tuberculosis (TB) between two large Canadian provinces-Ontario and British Columbia (BC)-to identify genotypic clusters within and across both provinces, allowing for an improved understanding of genotype data and providing context to more accurately identify clusters representing local transmission.

We compared 24-locus Mycobacterial Interspersed Repetitive Units-Variable Number of Tandem Repeats (MIRU-VNTR) genotyping for 3,314 Ontario and 1,602 BC clinical Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates collected from 2008 through 2014. Laboratory data for each isolate was linked to case-level records to obtain clinical and demographic data.

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