Int. Rev. Allergol. Clin. Immunol. Family Med., 2013, XIX/1: 048-054 Maximize

Int. Rev. Allergol. Clin. Immunol. Family Med., 2013, XIX/1: 048-054

Title: Importance of molecular epidemiology in tuberculosis

Authors: Augustynowicz-Kopeć E.

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Importance of molecular epidemiology in tuberculosis

Augustynowicz-Kopeć E.

Department of Microbiology, Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases in Warsaw, Poland

Int. Rev. Allergol. Clin. Immunol. Family Med., 2013; Vol. 19, No. 1, 48

Epidemiology of tuberculosis in its research uses a number of medical disciplines such as clinical medicine, pathology, microbiology, medical statistics, as well as biochemistry and genetics. The application of molecular epidemiology to the field of tuberculosis has advanced our understanding of the dynamics of TB transmission. Genome sequencing allows determining molecular patterns (fingerprints) of analyzed Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains therefore differentiating them. It is crucial when defining epidemiological investigation findings and above all recognition of the source of tuberculosis and its transmission ways. When molecular methods are used in conjunction with classical epidemiology, their utility for TB control has been realized. Molecular epidemiologic studies of tuberculosis (TB) have focused largely on utilizing molecular techniques to address short- and long-term epidemiologic questions. Numerous descriptions of TB outbreaks have identified hospitals, prisons, congregate living settings and homeless shelters as sites for TB transmission. Population-based studies have identified the characteristics of cases associated with the clustering of patients with the same strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis which to indicate the recent transmission of M. tuberculosis.

Key words: tuberculosis, transmission, molecular epidemiology