Reemergence and amplification of tuberculosis in the Canadian arctic


Robyn S Lee, Nicolas Radomski, Jean-Francois Proulx, Jeremy Manry, Fiona McIntosh, Francine Desjardins, Hafid Soualhine, Pilar Domenech, Michael B Reed, Dick Menzies, and Marcel A Behr. 2015. “Reemergence and amplification of tuberculosis in the Canadian arctic.” J Infect Dis, 211, 12, Pp. 1905-14.


BACKGROUND: Between November 2011 and November 2012, a Canadian village of 933 persons had 50 culture-positive cases of tuberculosis, with 49 sharing the same genotype. METHODS: We performed Illumina-based whole-genome sequencing on Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from this village, during and before the outbreak. Phylogenetic trees were generated using the maximum likelihood method. RESULTS: Three distinct genotypes were identified. Strain I (n = 7) was isolated in 1991-1996. Strain II (n = 8) was isolated in 1996-2004. Strain III (n = 62) first appeared in 2007 and did not arise from strain I or II. Within strain III, there were 3 related but distinct clusters: IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC. Between 2007 and 2010, cluster IIIA predominated (11 of 22 vs 2 of 40; P < .001), whereas in 2011-2012 clusters IIIB (n = 18) and IIIC (n = 20) predominated over cluster IIIA (n = 11). Combined evolutionary and epidemiologic analysis of strain III cases revealed that the outbreak in 2011-2012 was the result of ≥6 temporally staggered events, spanning from 1 reactivation case to a point-source outbreak of 20 cases. CONCLUSIONS: After the disappearance of 2 strains of M. tuberculosis in this village, its reemergence in 2007 was followed by an epidemiologic amplification, affecting >5% of the population.