Epidemiology of Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Infection in Tuberculosis Suspects

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  • 1 Center for Nanosciences and Molecular medicine, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Ponekkara, Kochi, Kerala, India;
  • | 2 Department of Microbiology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Ponekkara, Kochi, Kerala, India;
  • | 3 Department of Dermatology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Ponekkara, Kochi, Kerala, India;
  • | 4 Department of Respiratory Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Ponekkara, Kochi, Kerala, India

Nontuberculosis mycobacteria (NTM) are opportunistic pathogens that cause a wide range of illnesses. Here, the species distribution and prevalence of NTM infections in tuberculosis suspects was analyzed. A total of 7,073 specimens from pulmonary and extrapulmonary sites were analyzed, and 709 (10%) were found to be culture positive for mycobacteria. Of these, 85.2% were identified as Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex and 14.8% as NTM (65.7% rapid growers and 34.3% slow growers). Speciation of the NTM isolates (n = 69) identified 19 NTM species. M. abscessus (33.3%) and M. fortuitum (24.6%) were the most dominant NTM species isolated from the patients, followed by M. porcinum (5.8%) and M. parascrofulaceum (4.3%). We also report peritonitis caused by rapidly growing NTM among the patients undergoing continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis and a case of M. senegalense peritonitis. A low prevalence but high species diversity of NTM was detected in our study. The high species diversity of NTM necessitates the need to unequivocally identify mycobacterial isolates for appropriate treatment.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Anil Kumar, Department of Microbiology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Ponekkara, Kochi-682041, Kerala, India, E-mail: vanilkumar@aims.amrita.edu or Lalitha Biswas, Center for Nanosciences and Molecular medicine, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Ponekkara, Kochi-682041, Kerala, India, E-mail: lalithabiswas@aims.amrita.edu.

Authors’ addresses: Parasmal Suresh, Center for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, Kerala, India, E-mail: parassureshjn@gmail.com. Anil Kumar, Microbiology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Ponekara, Kochi, Kerala, India, E-mail: vanilkumar@aims.amrita.edu. Raja Biswas and Lalitha Biswas, Center for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India, E-mails: rajabiswas@aims.amrita.edu and lalithabiswas@aims.amrita.edu. Divya Vijayakumar and Gopikrishnan Anjaneyan, Internal Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, Kerala, India, E-mails: divarchives@gmail.com and gopi19430@aims.amrita.edu. Swathy Thulasidharan, Department of Microbiology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Cochin, Kerala, India, E-mail: swathy.thulasidharan@gmail.com. Akhilesh Kunoor, Department of Respiratory Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Cochin, Kerala, India, E-mail: akhileshk@aims.amrita.edu.

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