Tuberculosis transmission attributable to close contacts and HIV status, Malawi

Amelia C. Crampin, Judith R. Glynn, Hamidou Traore, Malcolm D. Yates, Lorren Mwaungulu, Michael Mwenebabu, Steven D. Chaguluka, Sian Floyd, Francis Drobniewski, Paul E.M. Fine

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41 Citations (Scopus)


We conducted the first molecular study of tuberculosis (TB) to estimate the role of household contact and transmission from HIV-positive putative source contacts (PSCs) in a high HIV-prevalence area. TB patients in a long-term population-based study in Malawi were asked about past contact with TB. DNA fingerprinting was used to define clusters of cases with identical strains. Among 143 epidemiologically defined PSC-case pairs, fingerprinting confirmed transmission for 44% of household and family contacts and 18% of other contacts. Transmission was less likely to be confirmed if the PSC were HIV positive than if he or she were HIV negative (odds ratio 0.32, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.14-0.74). Overall, epidemiologic links were found for 11% of 754 fingerprint-clustered cases. We estimate that 9%-13% of TB cases were attributable to recent transmission from identifiable close contacts and that nearly half of the TB cases arising from recent infection had acquired the infection from HIV-positive patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-735
Number of pages7
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2006


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