Mycobacterium abscessus infection and potable water

Thomson, Rachel, Tolson, Carla, Carter, Robyn, Coulter, Chris, Huygens, Flavia, & Hargreaves, Megan (2012) Mycobacterium abscessus infection and potable water. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 185, A4022.

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Mycobacterium abscessus is a rapidly growing mycobacteria responsible for progressive pulmonary disease, soft tissue and wound infections, and can contaminate clinical specimens. Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are generally considered environmental organisms though M. abscessus has not featured frequently in environmental studies, particularly those examining potable water. In a study of Brisbane potable water, M. abscessus was isolate from ten different locations. The incidence of disease due to M. abscessus has been increasing in Queensland.

Aim: To compare genotypically the M. abscessus isolates obtained from water to those obtained from human clinical specimens.

Methods: From a study of Brisbane potable water between 2007 and 2009, ten isolates confirmed as M. abscessus were recovered. In addition, one strain was isolated from a rainwater tank of a patient with disease due to M. avium, and another from the swimming pool of a patient with M. intracellulare disease. A random sample of 74 clinical isolates referred to the QLD Mycobacterial reference laboratory during the same time period was available for comparison using repPCR strain typing (Diversilab).

Results: The drinking water isolates formed two distinct strain patterns (A and B) that shared >90% similarity. The tankwater isolate (pattern C) shared >85% similarity with the potable water isolates, but the pool isolate (D) was distinctly different. Fifty-three clinical isolates clustered tightly (>95% similarity) with the Group A potable water isolates, 4 patients with Group B. Thirteen patient isolates clustered with the Rainwater tank isolate. One patient matched the pool isolate. There were a further 3 patient isolates that were unrelated to the water isolates. No differences were found between strain types in terms of geographic origin, gender, age, or site/type of infection.

Conclusion: The high degree of similarity between strains of M. abscessus from potable water and strains causing infection in humans from the same area, strengthens the possibility that drinking water may be a source of infection in these patients.

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ID Code: 58202
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: potable water, Mycobacterium abscessus, infection
ISSN: 1073-449X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000) > MICROBIOLOGY (060500) > Infectious Agents (060502)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Biomedical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 American Thoracic Society
Deposited On: 14 Mar 2013 04:20
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2013 00:04

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