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Emerg Infect Dis. 2008 Mar;14(3):378-84. doi: 10.3201/eid1403.061405.

Multicenter cross-sectional study of nontuberculous mycobacterial infections among cystic fibrosis patients, Israel.

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Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel.


This 2-year cross-sectional evaluation of nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) infections involved all Israeli medical centers that treat cystic fibrosis patients. The study comprised 186 patients whose sputum was analyzed for NTM. The prevalence of NTM isolates was 22.6%, and 6.5% and 10.8% of the patients fulfilled the 1997 and 2007 American Thoracic Society criteria for NTM lung disease, respectively. Mycobacterium simiae (40.5%), M. abscessus (31.0%), and M. avium complex (14.3%) were the most prevalent. Presence of Aspergillus spp. in sputum and the number of sputum specimens processed for mycobacteria were the most significant predictors for isolation of NTM (odds ratio [OR] = 5.14, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.87-14.11 and OR = 1.47, 95% CI 1.17-1.85, respectively). The incidence of NTM pulmonary infections is increasing among cystic fibrosis patients, reflecting the increase in longevity of such patients as well as environmental exposure to various species of mycobacteria.

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