Original Research

Characterisation and antimicrobial susceptibility pattern of non-tuberculous mycobacteria

Abraham J. le Roux, Anneke van der Spoel van Dijk, Motlatji R.B. Maloba
Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases | Vol 39, No 1 | a525 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajid.v39i1.525 | © 2024 Abraham J. le Roux, Anneke van der Spoel van Dijk, Motlatji R.B. Maloba | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 March 2023 | Published: 05 January 2024

About the author(s)

Abraham J. le Roux, Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Anneke van der Spoel van Dijk, Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Motlatji R.B. Maloba, Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) management comprises prolonged therapy that includes macrolides. Non-tuberculous mycobacteria can cause disease in patients with predisposing conditions such as HIV and structural lung disease. Local data on NTM disease and macrolide resistance are scarce, and routine antimicrobial susceptibility testing is currently not performed for NTM in South Africa.

Objectives: This study aims to characterise NTM isolated at Tshepong National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) according to species and antimicrobial susceptibility pattern.

Method: A retrospective data analysis of NTM isolates from Tshepong NHLS was performed from January to June 2020. GenoType® NTM-DR was performed on selected isolates where the assay can confirm the species and determine resistance to macrolides and aminoglycosides.

Results: Of the 194 collected NTM isolates, 183 were included in the study. Patients’ ages ranged from 1 day to 81 years (median 36 years). The most common specimen was sputum (84.7%), followed by gastric aspirate (6.6%). The most common NTM isolated were Mycobacterium (M.) intracellulare (67.6%), M. fortuitum (12.6%), M. species (4.3%), M. kansasii (3.9%), and M. scrofulaceum (3.9%). Macrolide resistance occurred in 2.8% of tested isolates; no aminoglycoside resistance was detected. Although most isolates were from males (62.3%), resistance was observed only in females.

Conclusion: M. intracellulare predominated, with only two M. intracellulare and two M. abscessus isolates showing macrolide resistance; aminoglycoside resistance was absent.

Contribution: This study highlights the need for increased awareness of NTM, regular nationwide NTM surveillance, and monitoring of resistance trends to guide future patient management and ensure good treatment outcomes.


Keywords

non-tuberculous mycobacteria; Mycobacteria avium complex; Mycobacterium abscessus; GenoType® NTM-DR; genotypic antimicrobial susceptibility.

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