Annals of Clinical Microbiology, The official Journal of the Korean Society of Clinical Microbiology

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pISSN 2288-0585 eISSN 2288-6850

Distribution and Clinical Significance of Nontuberculous Mycobacteria Identified by High Performance Liquid Chromatography in Clinical Specimens

Original article

Annals of Clinical Microbiology (Ann Clin Microbiol) 2008 April Volume 11, Issue 1, pages 34-42.

https://doi.org/10.5145/ACM.2008.11.1.34

Distribution and Clinical Significance of Nontuberculous Mycobacteria Identified by High Performance Liquid Chromatography in Clinical Specimens

Joseph Jeong, Sung-Ryul Kim, Chulhun L. Chang1, Seon Ho Lee
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Ulsan University Hospital, Ulsan; 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, College of Medicine, Pusan National University, Busan, Korea

Abstract

Background: Infections caused by nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are significantly increasing over the last decade. Due to the uncertainty in the clinical significance of these organisms, their effective diagnosis and treatment has been challenging. The purpose of this study was to investigate the distribution and clinical significance of NTM in clinical specimens.

Methods: Acid-fast culture positive 3,107 clinical specimens were identified by mycolic acid analysis using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC.) The HPLC patterns of 384 NTM strains were compared with those of standard mycobacterium species. Clinical significance of NTM was investigated by a retrospective study including acid-fast stain and culture, medical history, symptoms and signs, radiological and other laboratory findings, pathologic findings, response to treatment, and follow-up study, and was confirmed according to the guideline of American Thoracic Society.

Results: Among the 3,107 Mycobacterium-positive specimens, 384 (12.4%) were found to be positive for NTM. Of these, 367 (95.6%) were successfully identified by HPLC as 19 different species, each of which comprising 0.3% to 15.9% of the total NTM, Studies on the pathogenic role of NTM showed that 0∼79.6% of each species or 0∼100% of isolates from each specimen could be considered clinically significant.

Conclusion: HPLC method is highly discriminative for the identification of NTM in clinical specimens. When NTM is isolated from clinical specimens in the Ulsan area, the findings from this study could serve as a database on which to determine its clinical significance depending on species type and also specimen type. (Korean J Clin Microbiol 2008;11:34-42)

Keywords

Mycobacterium, Nontuberculous mycobacteria, HPLC, Mycobacterial identification, Pathogenic rate