Laboratory aspects of clinically significant rapidly growing mycobacteria

Set, R.; Shastri, J.
October 2011
Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology;Oct2011, Vol. 29 Issue 4, p343
Academic Journal
The pathogenic potential of the rapidly growing mycobacteria (RGM) has started being recognized. This is due to more sensitive and specific techniques in the laboratory. The RGM are generally defined as nontuberculous species of mycobacteria that show visible growth on agar media within 7 days. RGM are widely distributed in nature and have been isolated from natural water, tap water, and soil. Several biochemical tests, high performance liquid chromatography, and molecular techniques have been developed for rapid identification of these species. The American Thoracic Society and the Infectious Disease Society of America recommend that RGM should be identified to the species level using a recognized acceptable methodology such as polymerase chain reaction restriction enzyme analysis or biochemical testing and routine susceptibility testing of RGM should include amikacin, imipenem, doxycycline, the fluorinated quinolones, a sulphonamide or trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole, cefoxitin, clarithromycin, linezolid, and tobramycin. The diseases caused by these organisms have varied manifestations. They have been responsible for a number of healthcare-associated outbreaks and pseudo-outbreaks. For recognition of outbreaks, it is important to be familiar with the causative organisms like RGM which are most frequently involved in healthcare-associated outbreaks and pseudo outbreaks. It is essential to intervene as soon as possible to interrupt this transmission. Large gaps still exist in our knowledge of RGM. Unquestionably more studies are required. Through this review, we wish to emphasize that reporting of RGM from clinical settings along with their sensitivity patterns is an absolute need of the hour.


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