Genomic Epidemiology of TB

Revisiting a TB Outbreak in Bern

We recently revisited a TB outbreak that occurred in the early 1990s in Bern, Switzerland. Combining high-throughput SNP-typing with targeted whole genome sequencing, we were able to identify several super-spreaders among the patients from this outbreak, who infected a particularly high number of secondary cases. Moreover, we were able to show that some TB patients belonging to this outbreak occurred as late as 2011.

Transcontinental Spread of Multidrug-resistant TB

Using a similar approach, we were able to document the repeated import of a multidrug-resistant MTBC clone from Thailand to California linked to a long-term outbreak among Hmong refugees.

Ongoing Research

In our ongoing work, combine genomic epidemiology with phylodynamic modeling to measure the transmission of drug-resistant MTBC in Georgia and South Africa. Moreover, we use whole genome sequencing to investigate the micro-evolution of MTBC during individual patient treatment.