A cluster of 10 cases of tuberculosis disease (one of them extrapulmonary) occurred from July 2001 until November 2003 in a health district in Southern Austria. Eight patients were culture confirmed and shared an identical strain. One of these eight cases was identified as outbreak-related by molecular strain typing only. Due to public pressure, a further 600 persons received chest X-ray and clinical examinations. Apart from one case which could be excluded from the outbreak because of a different strain pattern, no outbreak-related case of active tuberculosis was detected by this non-targeted procedure. Tuberculin skin testing, not part of the Austrian routine protocol of contact investigation in adults, was initiated after diagnosis of case 8. Forty-nine latently infected contacts were detected. Population-based genotyping of all isolates, prioritization of contact investigations and early use of targeted tuberculin skin testing are critical for effective tuberculosis control in low-incidence countries.