Publications

Individual- and neighborhood-level contextual factors are associated with Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission: genotypic clustering of cases in Michigan, 2004-2012

Purpose

Using genotyping data of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from new cases reported to the tuberculosis (TB) surveillance program, we evaluated risk factors for recent TB transmission at both the individual- and neighborhood- levels among U.S.-born and foreign-born populations.

Methods

TB cases (N = 1236) reported in Michigan during 2004 to 2012 were analyzed using multivariable Poisson regression models to examine risk factors for recent transmission cross-sectionally for U.S.-born and foreign-born populations separately. Recent transmission was defined based on spoligotype and 12-locus-mycobacterial interspersed repetitive unit-variable number tandem repeat typing matches of bacteria from cases that were diagnosed within 1 year of each other. Four classes of predictor variables were examined: demographic factors, known TB risk factors, clinical characteristics, and neighborhood-level factors.

Results

Overall, 22% of the foreign-born cases resulted from recent transmission. Among the foreign-born, race and being a contact of an infectious TB case were significant predictors of recent transmission. More than half (52%) of U.S.-born cases resulted from recent transmission. Among the U.S.-born, recent transmission was predicted by both individual- and neighborhood-level sociodemographic characteristics.

Conclusions

Interventions aimed at reducing TB incidence among foreign-born should focus on reducing reactivation of latent infection. However, reducing TB incidence among the U.S.-born will require decreasing transmission among socially disadvantaged groups at the individual- and neighborhood- levels. This report fills an important knowledge gap regarding the contemporary social context of TB in the United States, thereby providing a foundation for future studies of public health policies that can lead to the development of more targeted, effective TB control.