metadata only access
Genotypic data from pathogenic isolates are often used to measure the extent of infectious disease transmission. These methods include phylogenetic reconstruction and the evaluation of clustering indices. The first aim of this paper is to critique current methods used to analyse genotypic data from molecular epidemiological studies of tuberculosis. In particular, by not accounting for the mutation rate of markers, errors arise in making inferences about outbreaks based on genotypic information. The second aim is to suggest a new way to represent genotypic data visually, involving graphs and trees. We also discuss some interpretations and modifications of existing indices. Although our focus is tuberculosis, the methods we discuss are generally applicable to any directly transmissible clonal pathogen.