Journal Article

Molecular Fingerprinting of <i>Mycobacterium tuberculosis</i>: How Can It Help the Clinician?

Marcel A. Behr and Peter M. Small

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 25, issue 4, pages 806-810
Published in print October 1997 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online October 1997 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
Molecular Fingerprinting of Mycobacterium tuberculosis: How Can It Help the Clinician?

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In just a few years, molecular fingerprinting of Mycobacterium tuberculosis has provided clinicians with significant insight into the epidemiology of tuberculosis. This methodology has allowed for a new understanding of the extent of new transmission of tuberculosis among residents of various communities and within institutions. It has also allowed for differentiation between episodes of reinfection and relapse, a task hitherto almost impossible to accomplish. In addition, molecular fingerprinting has allowed assessment of situations where laboratory cross-contamination is suspected. Thus, this technology has in many ways made clinicians reexamine many of their long-held beliefs regarding tuberculosis. In this report, Drs. Behr and Small provide a lucid description of molecular fingerprinting of M. tuberculosis, its current uses, and its future potential value.

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Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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