Descriptive Study of Tuberculosis in the Inuit Population of NunavutCanada, 2010

Background: During 20052009, there was an average of 12 tuberculosis (TB) cases across Nunavut every three months (minimum of five, maximum of 22). In 2010, 30 cases were diagnosed in the first quarter and 25 cases from April 1st May 31st. A descriptive study was undertaken to identify the characteristics of active TB cases to better target TB prevention and control efforts. Methods: Descriptive analysis of active TB cases from 20052010 was performed. Genetic fingerprinting (genotyping) of TB isolates from cases prior 2010 was completed using the restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). Differences in rates were tested by the Chi-square test. Epidemiologic linkages were investigated between cases in 2010 from one community. Results: A total of 291 active TB cases, 98.3% of Inuit origin, were diagnosed with a concentration in one region (89.7%). Laboratory-confirmed cases accounted for 77.7% of all cases and pulmonary cases accounted for 77.3%. The proportion of cases under 45 years of age (83.5%) was significantly higher than the proportion of Canadian cases in this age group (54.5%) (2 = 94.99, p<0.001). Nineteen RFLP patterns were identified among 168 cases with the two most common (59.5% and 25.6%) distributed in nine communities. Connections were established among six cases in 2010 that stayed or had contact with a case that stayed in the mens shelter prior to their diagnosis. Conclusions: Current results highlight the potential to target TB prevention and control activities towards the young Inuit population from one region. Genotyping results may indicate epidemiologic links among cases, but further investigation is required to verify these linkages. Although limited, preliminary analysis suggests that a shelter might be related with transmission of TB in this outbreak. Key words: Tuberculosis, Inuit, Nunavut, Descriptive Study Word count: 275 For more information, email the presenter at:

Author (s): 

Annie-Claude Bourgeois, Guanghong. Han, Elaine Randell, Geraldine Osborne, Edward Ellis and Isaac Sobol

Presenter (s): 
Mrs. Annie-Claude Bourgeois
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