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Anales del Sistema Sanitario de Navarra

versión impresa ISSN 1137-6627


SALICIO, Y. et al. Clinical relevance of nontuberculous Mycobacteria. Anales Sis San Navarra [online]. 2008, vol.31, n.1, pp.33-42. ISSN 1137-6627.

Background. The isolation of nontuberculous mycobacterias (NTM) has increased in recent years largely due to the use of liquid cultivation media. In many cases such isolations lack clinical relevance, which is why the evaluation of their meaning must be carried out on the basis of international clinical criteria. This article studies the impact of using the criteria that the American Thoracic Society (ATS) has established for differentiating an infection of NTM colonisation in respiratory samples. Methods. Microbiological and clinical study of the patients with repeated isolations of NTM in respiratory samples registered in our laboratory between 2000 and 2004. Results. One hundred and sixteen positive cultivations of NTM were obtained, repeatedly isolated in 46 episodes corresponding to 42 patients. Eleven different species were identified: M. xenopi (16 cases), M. avium (12), M. kansasii (7), M. fortuitum (5), M. malmoense (2) and, finally, 1 of each of the following: M. genavense, M. simiae, M. gordonae and M. lentiflavum. It was possible to study 36 patients, of whom 17 met the criteria of the ATS, and, out of these, only 12 received specific treatment. In those cases that did not meet the ATS criteria the isolations did not have any clinical repercussion. In both the treated and untreated groups a clearly differentiated evolution was not observed. Conclusions. Facing the difficulty of attributing an etiological role to an NTM of respiratory samples, it is necessary to follow international criteria such as those of the ATS before beginning a specific treatment in order to avoid the incorrect treatment of patients.

Palabras clave : Nontuberculous mycobacteria; Clinical meaning; Identification.

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