Disease caused by non-tuberculous mycobacteria: diagnostic procedures and treatment evaluation in the North of Buenos Aires Province

Belén Imperiale, Martín Zumárraga, Andrea Gioffré, Beatriz Di Giulio, Angel Cataldi, Nora Morcillo
Revista Argentina de Microbiología 2012, 44 (1): 3-9
Non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) have emerged as pathogens frequently associated to HIV co-infection. The aims of this study were to describe the clinical importance of NTM in patients from the North of Buenos Aires Province and the drug-susceptibility patterns in relation with the therapy used. A total of 23,624 clinical specimens were investigated during the period 2004-2010. Ziehl-Neelsen stain and cultures were used for diagnosis. Molecular and biochemical tests were performed to identify the mycobacteria. TB and mycobacterioses cases were 2 118 and 108 respectively. Sixteen NTM species were found: Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium intracellulare as the main causative agents. Infections produced by more than one species at the same time were confirmed (4 cases). Macrolides and fluoroquinolones were the most active in vitro drugs. Treatment evaluation showed that 68.0 % of the cases completed the therapy, 20 % died; and 12 % were relapses. The cases in which the treatment outcome was evaluated received an individual tailor-made therapeutic scheme including those drugs showing in vitro activity and presumed in vivo usefulness. More than a quarter of the patients had HIV co-infection and the majority of the deaths were associated with this co-infection.

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