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JAMA. 1996 Jan 24-31;275(4):305-7.

Transmission of tuberculosis among the urban homeless.

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1
Department of Medicine, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles 90033, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the relative frequencies of primary and reactivation tuberculosis in the urban homeless.

DESIGN:

Prospective evaluation of homeless tuberculosis patients.

SETTING:

Central Los Angeles, Calif.

PATIENTS:

Thirty-four homeless patients with culture-proven tuberculosis.

INTERVENTIONS:

IS6110-based restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis was performed on Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates. If results were inconclusive, pTBN12-based RFLP analysis was performed.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Clustering of M tuberculosis isolates. A cluster consisted of two or more isolates with indistinguishable RFLP patterns.

RESULTS:

Twenty-four of 34 homeless patients had clustered isolates in six clusters.

CONCLUSIONS:

The minimum percentage of cases due to primary tuberculosis in the homeless was estimated to be 53%, compared with the traditional estimate of 10% in the general population. The results suggest that primary tuberculosis caused the majority of tuberculosis cases in this population of the urban homeless in central Los Angeles.

PMID:
8544271
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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