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TB Notes Newsletter

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No. 2, 2014


Update from the Molecular Epidemiology Activity: New tools to improve data quality in the TB GIMS System

Do you use genotyping information routinely in TB control activities?

If so, you know that the Tuberculosis Genotyping Information Management System (TB GIMS) is a secure web-based system that is used to manage genotyping data for persons with culture-positive TB in the United States. And you also understand the importance of linking genotype results to surveillance records in TB GIMS. This linkage is necessary for genotype results to be available in TB GIMS reports, maps, and searches.

In the new release of TB GIMS version 1.10 (March 2014), two additional reports were included to facilitate TB GIMS Super Users in linking genotype results to surveillance records. Local and state TB programs can increase their genotyping surveillance coverage and improve data quality with the 1) ‘Unlinked Isolates’ and 2) ‘Not Culture-Positive’ reports.

The ‘Unlinked Isolates’ reportidentifies isolate records that have text entered into the State Case Number field, but are not linked to a surveillance record. These isolate records might not be linked due to an error in the State Case Number, or because the surveillance record hasn’t been transmitted to CDC, or because the isolate record does not have a corresponding surveillance record.

  • When the State Case Number is corrected and the surveillance record is transmitted to CDC, the isolate record will be linked.
  • If the isolate record is not expected to be linked to a surveillance record (e.g., if the isolate is from an out-of-state case or not related to a TB case), users can manage this information by changing the status to ‘Not linkable.’

The ‘Not Culture-Positive’ reportidentifies surveillance records that were not reported as having a positive culture result, but were linked to an isolate record with a genotype result.

  • Because genotyping can only be performed on isolates with culture-positive results, either the culture status for the case or the linking information should be corrected.

By reviewing these reports and coordinating with surveillance partners to resolve these issues on a quarterly basis, state and local TB control partners can ensure that accurate and timely genotyping data are available in TB GIMS.

Good quality genotype and surveillance data will not only augment TB surveillance, but also support and encourage use of genotyping data for TB outbreak detection and response activities in the United States.

Reported by Smita Ghosh, MS
Div of TB Elimination

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