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IJMDC. 2021; 5(5): 1178-1182

The clinical significance of nontuberculous mycobacteria at King Abdulaziz Medical City-Western Region from 2013 to 2020

Abdulelah S. Abdulhamid, Basel M. Alsolami, Abdulrahman T. Mohanna, Talal M. Bagabas, Faris F. Alsubaie, Mohammed S Alzahrani, Abdulfattah W. Alammri.


Background: Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are opportunistic bacteria that cause pulmonary illness and are commonly found in pulmonary and extrapulmonary tissue. NTM clinical manifestations are still under investigation. Pulmonary NTM is diagnosed using the criteria of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). The aim of this study was to assess the clinical manifestations and conditions associated with pulmonary NTM by reviewing the clinical and laboratory records.
Methodology: This is a retrospective, cross-sectional study focused on patients with positive NTM cultures, who presented at King Abdulaziz Medical City-Western Region between 2013 and 2020. All files of patients with confirmed NTM infections were reviewed, with a total of approximately 115 samples. The demographic, clinical, and radiological data were collected by the research team.
Results: Information was collected from 90 positive NTM samples from 71 patients. NTM samples were isolated from sputum in 57 (80.3%) patients, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) in 7 (9.9%) patients, and soft tissue in 4 (5.6%) patients. From the collected samples, there were 11 (15.4%) patients, who were thought to be truly infected with pulmonary NTM and who met the ATS criteria. Diabetes mellitus was the most common comorbidity among the samples [26 (36.6%)], followed by malignancies [18 (25.4%)].
Conclusion: In this study, we found that only 15% of patients with positive NTM samples met the ATS/IDSA criteria for the diagnosis of pulmonary NTM. The most common comorbidity among research subjects was diabetes mellitus, followed by malignancy. The precise data are reported. It is recommended that further studies can be conducted.

Key words: Clinical significance, feature of NTM lung disease, nontuberculous mycobacteria, epidemiology, Saudi Arabia.

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