Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Tuberculosis in Northwest Territories

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area, Sahtu Settlement Area, Dehcho Region, North Slave Region, South Slave Region

Tags: health, public health, tuberculosis

Principal Investigator: Pepperell, Caitlin (1)
Licence Number: 15836
Organization: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Licenced Year(s): 2016
Issued: Feb 10, 2016
Project Team: Dr. Caitlin Pepperell (Principal Investigator/Research Supervisor, University of Wisconsin-Madison), Dr. Linda Chui (Researcher, University of Alberta Hospital), Cheryl Case (Researcher, Institute for Circumpolar Health Research), Donny Xiong (Researcher/Study Coordinator, University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Objective(s): To identify patterns of spread of tuberculosis in NWT and trace the evolution of mycobacterium (M.) tuberculosis in this region.

Project Description: The objective of this research project is to identify patterns of spread of tuberculosis (TB) in the Northwest Territories and trace the evolution of mycobacterium (M.) tuberculosis in this region.

Laboratory isolates of M. tuberculosis will be retrieved from the Alberta Provincial Laboratory and epidemiology data will be retrieved from the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer for the Government of the NWT. The research team will conduct: whole genome sequence analysis of each isolate of M. tuberculosis, Spatial Analysis of geographic and epidemiological data using space-time permutation scan statistic, and retrospective and prospective Space-Time analyses.

The benefits of the study for the community are primarily educational. This project seeks to improve current knowledge of transmission patterns of tuberculosis in the Northwest Territories by reviewing cases from at least a 20-year period. Further understanding of the transmission patterns will provide insight towards public health strategies to interrupt tuberculosis transmission in the community. Additionally, the strains of M. tuberculosis in the study period are primarily from individuals of Dene and Inuit ancestry, which may be of historical interest to these populations.

Results of this study will be shared with the leaders of the Inuvialuit and Dene Nation through a brief written summary. Verbal discussions at the beginning and end of the study will be held with the leaders as well, provided the opportunities arise. It is anticipated that this study will culminate in the publication of a report(s) for a scientific journal. The written summary and any final report(s) will be submitted to the Aurora Research Institute to be included in their permanent collection for sharing with the community and other researchers.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from February 10, 2016 to December 31, 2016.