Background: Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are an emerging threat to cystic fibrosis (CF) patients but their epidemiology is not well described.
Methods: In this retrospective observational study we identified all Scandinavian CF patients with a positive NTM culture from airway secretions from 2000 to the end of 2012 and used national CF databases to describe microbiological and clinical characteristics.
Results: During the 13-year period 157 (11%) CF patients were culture positive for NTM at least once. Mycobacterium abscessus complex (MABSC) (45%) and Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) (32%) were the predominant species with geographical differences in distribution. Younger patients were more prone to MABSC (p<0.01). Despite treatment, less than one-third of MABSC patients with repeated positive cultures cleared their infection and a quarter had a lung transplant or died.
Conclusion: NTM are significant CF pathogens and are becoming more prevalent in Scandinavia. MABSC and MAC appear to target distinct patient groups. Having multiple positive cultures despite treatment conveys a poor outcome.
Keywords: Mycobacterium abscessus; Mycobacterium avium; Prevalence; Susceptibility.
Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.