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DNA fingerprinting of Mycobacterium tuberculosis has been shown to be a powerful epidemiologic tool. We propose a standardized technique which exploits variability in both the number and genomic position of IS6110 to generate strain-specific patterns. General use of this technique will permit comparison of results between different laboratories. Such comparisons will facilitate investigations into the international transmission of tuberculosis and may identify specific strains with unique properties such as high infectivity, virulence, or drug resistance.