Spread of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Southern Brazilian persons deprived of liberty: a molecular epidemiology study
AbstractTo evaluate the genetic diversity and clustering rates ofM. tuberculosis strains to better understand transmission among persons deprived of liberty (PDL) in Rio Grande do Sul (RS), southern Brazil. This is a cross-sectional study, including strains ofM. tuberculosis isolated from PDL, stored at the Central Laboratory of RS, in the period from 2013 to 2018. The molecular characterization was performed using the MIRU-VNTR 15loci method. A total of 598 M. tuberculosis strains were genotyped, and 37.5% were grouped into 53 clusters. Cluster sizes ranged from 2 to 34 strains. The largest cluster of the study had strains from 34 PDL, and 58.8% of the PDL of this cluster were in P01. Among the clusters formed, in 60.3%, there was at least one strain from P01. The most common strains in RS were LAM (53.2%) and Haarlem (31.1%). The LAM strain was the most likely to form clusters, and Haarlem was associated with anti-TB drug resistance. This was translational research, and the results can collaborate with the TB control programs, leading to improved strategies that allow the reduction of the TB burden in prisons.