Computational protocol: Chest Radiographic Patterns and the Transmission of Tuberculosis: Implications for Automated Systems

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Protocol publication

[…] Isolates of M. tuberculosis from all culture-positive cases of TB diagnosed in the Province of Alberta are routinely fingerprinted using RFLP, supplemented in those isolates with five or fewer copies of the insertion sequence 6110, by spoligotyping. [, ] The analysis is performed on coded specimens in a blinded fashion. The images are digitized using an imager video camera system, and subsequently analyzed in a blinded fashion using the Gelcompar II software. To improve accuracy, all isolates matched as identical by the computer were manually confirmed by visual comparison of the original autoradiographs. Over the six months preceding the study period, the three year study period, and the two years following the study period (5.5 years), a total of 784 cases of TB were diagnosed in the Province of Alberta of which 652 (83.2%) grew M. tuberculosis and 650 (99.7%) were genotyped. [...] IBM SPSS Statistics software version 17.0 was used for analysis of the data. Generalized kappa statistics were performed to quantify the level of agreement between radiograph readers, with the standard error reported as the asymptotic variance. Associations between the demographic and mycobacteriologic characteristics of “typical” versus “atypical” cases were evaluated with either binary or multi-nominal logistic regression. The logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) of characteristics of “typical” versus “atypical” cases, along with their 95% confidence interval (95% CI). Univariate analysis was performed for categorical data, including the analysis of transmission events, using the Pearson’s chi-squared test or the Fisher’s exact test as appropriate. A two-tailed p-value <0.05 was taken as statistically significant. For comparison of the mean number of assessed contacts per case and the mean number of days to assessment of TST converters, a t-test was employed.Study approval was obtained from the University of Alberta Health Research Ethics Board (HREB). Retrospective analysis of anonymous and routinely collected surveillance data did not require direct patient contact; therefore the need for patient’s informed consent was waived by HREB. […]

Pipeline specifications

Software tools GelCompar, SPSS
Applications Miscellaneous, DNA fingerprinting
Organisms Homo sapiens
Diseases Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia, Tuberculosis, Tuberculosis, Pulmonary