The epidemiology of tuberculosis in Elche (Spain) was studied by restriction fragment-length polymorphism (RFLP) typing of clinical isolates of over a 7-year period. A total of 165 isolates was typed and the clinico-epidemiological data of the patients were studied retrospectively. An overall cluster aggregation of 52.4% was found, rising to 71.43% in HIV-positive patients. There was greater aggregation in younger patients, but no statistically significant differences when other variables were analysed. The percentage of aggregation was higher than in other studies in Spain and this may be due to the longer time period of this study. The high percentage of aggregation in young patients and in those who were HIV-positive suggests increased recent transmission in both groups.


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