Québec’s unusually high rate of tuberculosis (TB) is most likely due to the local environment and cultural practices, rather than a particularly potent strain of TB, according to researchers. Québec has an incidence rate 50 times higher than the Canadian average.

Researchers performed whole-genome sequencing on 163 TB samples from 11 geographically isolated villages in Northern Québec. The results suggest social and environmental factors may contribute to the ongoing TB epidemic in Québec, according to the authors.

Original research paper published in PNAS on October 20, 2015.

Names and affiliations of selected author

Marcel A. Behr, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec