Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission in Birmingham, UK, 2009-19: An observational study.
Walker TM., Choisy M., Dedicoat M., Drennan PG., Wyllie D., Yang-Turner F., Crook DW., Robinson ER., Walker AS., Smith EG., Peto TEA.
Background: Over 10-years of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Birmingham presents an opportunity to explore epidemiological trends and risk factors for transmission in new detail. Methods: Between 1st January 2009 and 15th June 2019, we obtained the first WGS isolate from every patient resident in a postcode district covered by Birmingham's centralised tuberculosis service. Data on patients' sex, country of birth, social risk-factors, anatomical locus of disease, and strain lineage were collected. Poisson harmonic regression was used to assess seasonal variation in case load and a mixed-effects multivariable Cox proportionate hazards model was used to assess risk factors for a future case arising in clusters defined by a 5 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) threshold, and by 12 SNPs in a sensitivity analysis. Findings: 511/1653 (31%) patients were genomically clustered with another. A seasonal variation in diagnoses was observed, peaking in spring, but only among clustered cases. Risk-factors for a future clustered case included UK-birth (aHR=2·03 (95%CI 1·35-3·04), p