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Molecular technology to identify relatedness between complex isolates, representative of possible tuberculosis (TB) transmission between individuals, continues to evolve. At the same time, tools to utilise this information for public health action to improve TB control should also be implemented. Public Health England developed the Strain Typing Module (STM) as an integral part of the web-based surveillance system used in the United Kingdom following the roll-out of prospective 24 loci mycobacterial interspersed repetitive unit-variable number tandem repeat (MIRU-VNTR) strain typing. The creation of such a system required data integration and linkage, bringing together laboratory results and patient notification information. The STM facilitated widespread access to patient strain typing and clustering results for the public health community working in TB control. In addition, the system provided a log of cluster review and investigation decision making and results. Automated real-time data linkage between laboratory and notification data are essential to allow routine use of genotyping results in TB surveillance and control. Outputs must be accessible by those working in TB control at a local level to have any impact in ongoing public health activity.


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