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Free Content Recovery rate of NTM from AFB smear-positive sputum specimens at a medical centre in South Korea

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Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the recovery rate of non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) from acid-fast bacilli (AFB) smear-positive sputum specimens at a tertiary care medical centre in South Korea with a high pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) burden.

DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of data from AFB smear- and culture-positive sputum specimens collected between January 1998 and December 2001.

RESULTS: Over 4 years, 1328 sputum specimens collected from 616 patients were AFB smear- and culture-positive. NTM were recovered from 9.1% (121/1328) of the smear-positive sputum specimens, and from 8.1% (50/616) of patients with smear-positive sputum. NTM were isolated at least twice in 94% (47/50) of the patients from whom NTM was recovered. The most common organism found was Mycobacterium avium complex, followed by M. abscessus .

CONCLUSION: These results suggest that a substantial proportion of patients at a tertiary care medical centre in South Korea with AFB smear-positive sputum specimens may have NTM lung disease rather than PTB.

Keywords: Korea; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; atypical mycobacteria; pulmonary tuberculosis; sputum

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Samsung Medical Centre, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea 2: Department of Laboratory Medicine, Samsung Medical Centre, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea 3: Korean Institute of Tuberculosis, Korean National Tuberculosis Association, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Publication date: 2005-09-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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