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Epidemiology and molecular typing of an outbreak of tuberculosis in a hostel for homeless men

Lookup NU author(s): Andrew Barrett, Professor John Magee, Dr Stephen Bourke


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Aim-To investigate a possible outbreak of tuberculosis in a hostel for homeless men using IS6110 profiling, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based fingerprinting technique. Methods-Eight cases of tuberculosis were diagnosed in residents of the hostel over a period of 28 months. To provide epidemiological data, a heminested inverse PCR (HIP) assay targeting the insertion sequence IS6110 together with its upstream flanking region was used to fingerprint the eight isolates of XI tuberculosis under investigation. Results-The HIP technique gave IS6110 profiles which showed that while three isolates were clearly distinct, the remaining five strains were indistinguishable, suggesting the latter were representatives of a single outbreak strain. Conclusions-The HIP assay proved discriminatory and facilitated repeated testing for the direct comparison of strains as more patients presented over the protracted course of this outbreak.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kearns AM, Barrett A, Marshall C, Freeman R, Magee JG, Bourke SJ, Steward M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Clinical Pathology

Year: 2000

Volume: 53

Issue: 2

Pages: 122-124

ISSN (print): 0021-9746

ISSN (electronic): 1472-4146

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group Ltd


DOI: 10.1136/jcp.53.2.122


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