Tuberculosis Transmission Based on Molecular Epidemiologic Research

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Molecular genotyping techniques developed during the past decade and conventional epidemiological methods have been used synergistically in studies of the transmission and pathogenesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Research studies assessing contacts and outbreaks, risk factors for ongoing transmission, and exogenous reinfection with M. tuberculosis have advanced with applied molecular epidemiologic techniques. In addition, molecular epidemiologic approaches have enabled scientists to assess the impact of drug resistance on the transmission and pathogenesis of M. tuberculosis and to identify strains with broad temporal and spatial distributions. In the near future, the intersection of molecular epidemiology, bacterial population genetics, comparative genomics, immunology, and other disciplines will further our understanding of tuberculosis transmission and pathogenesis, contributing to the development of effective drugs and a vaccine against this important human pathogen.

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