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.
Keywords: Mycobacterium tuberculosis; infectious disease outbreaks; molecular epidemiology; transmission; whole genome sequencing.
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