Use of DNA fingerprinting to investigate a multiyear, multistate tuberculosis outbreak

Peter D. McElroy, Timothy R. Sterling, Cynthia R. Driver, Barry Kreiswirth, Charles L. Woodley, Wendy A. Cronin, Darryl X. Hardge, Kenneth L. Shilkret, Renee Ridzon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


In 1998-1999, the Baltimore TB control program detected a cluster of 21 tuberculosis (TB) cases. Patients reported frequent travel to various East Coast cities. An investigation was conducted to determine whether transmission of the same Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain was occurring in these other localities. A collaborative investigation among federal, state, and local TB controllers included TB record reviews, interviews of patients, and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of selected M. tuberculosis isolates from diagnosed TB patients in several cities in 1996-2001. A national TB genotyping database was searched for RFLP patterns that matched the outbreak pattern. Eighteen additional outbreak-related cases were detected outside of Baltimore - the earliest diagnosed in New Jersey in 1996, and the most recent in New York City in late 2001. The outbreak demonstrates the need for strategies to detect links among patients diagnosed with TB across multiple TB control jurisdictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1252-1256
Number of pages5
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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