Background: Current understanding of tuberculosis (TB) genotype clustering in the US is based on individual risk factors. This study sought to identify whether area-based socioeconomic status (SES) was associated with genotypic clustering among culture-confirmed TB cases.Methods: A retrospective cohort analysis was performed on data collected on persons with incident TB in King County, Washington, 2004-2008. Multilevel models were used to identify the relationship between area-level SES at the block group level and clustering utilizing a socioeconomic position index (SEP).Results: Of 519 patients with a known genotyping result and block group, 212 (41%) of isolates clustered genotypically. Analyses suggested an association between lower area-based SES and increased recent TB transmission, particularly among US-born populations. Models in which community characteristics were measured at the block group level demonstrated that lower area-based SEP was positively associated with genotypic clustering after controlling for individual covariates. However, the trend in higher clustering odds with lower SEP index quartile diminished when additional block-group covariates.Conclusions: Results stress the need for TB control interventions that take area-based measures into account, with particular focus on poor neighborhoods. Interventions based on area-based characteristics, such as improving case finding strategies, utilizing location-based screening and addressing social inequalities, could reduce recent rates of transmission.
- Infectious disease transmission
- Molecular epidemiology
- Socioeconomic status
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases