Recent Experience in the Epidemiology of Disease Caused by Atypical Mycobacteria

Reviews of infectious diseases 09/1981; 3(5):990-6. DOI: 10.1093/clinids/3.5.990
Source: PubMed


To obtain information on the epidemiology of mycobacteriosis, water and air samples collected along the East Coast of the United States were examined for mycobacteria. Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare-scrofulaceum (MAIS) were isolated from 25% of the water, samples, mostly those from South Carolina, Georgia, and the Gulf states. Mycobacterium kansasii and Mycobacterium marinum were not found, probably because of the detrimental effects of the NaOH used to decontaminate the samples. MAIS strains were found more often in estuaries than in fresh or ocean waters. The frequency of Mycobacterium intracellulare was relatively uniform along the entire coast, while Mycobacterium scrofulaceum predominated in the South. Only M. intracellulare was found in aerosol specimens, although both M. intracellulare and M. scrofulaceum were found in waters collected at the same sites.

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    • "Not all countries have B.C.G. vaccination mandatory, which may play a role in protecting against NTM infection (Romanus et al. 1995). Environmental conditions could also be relevant, as mycobacteria have been shown to be isolated from areas where water temperatures are high (Gruft et al. 1981). More importantly , different clinical microbiology methods used for isolation and detection may be important in the differences observed. "
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