Background: We aimed to identify and determine the etiology of “hotspots” of concentrated multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-tuberculosis) risk in Lima, Peru.
Methods: From 2009 to 2012, we conducted a prospective cohort study among households of tuberculosis cases from 106 health center (HC) areas in Lima, Peru. All notified tuberculosis cases and their household contacts were followed for 1 year. Symptomatic individuals were screened by microscopy and culture; positive cultures were tested for drug susceptibility (DST) and genotyped by 24-loci mycobacterial interspersed repetitive units-variable-number tandem repeats (MIRU-VNTR).
Results: 3286 individuals with culture-confirmed disease, DST, and 24-loci MIRU-VNTR were included in our analysis. Our analysis reveals: (1) heterogeneity in annual per-capita incidence of tuberculosis and MDR-tuberculosis by HC, with a rate of MDR-tuberculosis 89 times greater (95% confidence interval [CI], 54,185) in the most-affected versus the least-affected HC; (2) high risk for MDR-tuberculosis in a region spanning several HCs (odds ratio = 3.19, 95% CI, 2.33, 4.36); and (3) spatial aggregation of MDR-tuberculosis genotypes, suggesting localized transmission.
Conclusions: These findings reveal that localized transmission is an important driver of the epidemic of MDR-tuberculosis in Lima. Efforts to interrupt transmission may be most effective if targeted to this area of the city.