Indian J Tuberc. 2021 Jan;68(1):65-72. doi: 10.1016/j.ijtb.2020.08.018. Epub 2020 Aug 26.
INTRODUCTION: Non-tuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) infections are rarely reported, and more so with genitourinary infections. This retrospective study was designed to understand the proportion and behaviour of genitourinary non-tuberculous mycobacterial (GU-NTM) infections compared with genitourinary mycobacterial tuberculosis (GU-MTB) treated at a tertiary care hospital in South India.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The hospital records of every bacteriologically proved GU-MTB and GU-NTM infections treated at this centre from 2010 to 2016 were retrospectively reviewed.
RESULTS: There were ten patients of GU-NTM and 15 patients of GU-MTB. There was no significant difference in presentation other than lesser frequency of irritative lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) among patients with GU-MTB. Urine smear for AFB was positive in 60% and 47% of GU-NTM and GU-MTB patients. 40% of GU-NTM patients had history of urinary tract instrumentation. Mycobacterium abscessus was grown in four patients and one had Mycobacterium fortuitum/chelonae complex; all the rest were rapid growers. No patient had multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. Imaging studies of GU-NTM patients were indistinguishable from GU-MTB with renal, ureteral and bladder involvements, and stone formation. The drug sensitivities varied among the NTM patients but all showed sensitivity to clarithromycin uniformly. Need for varieties of surgeries in the early and late phases were also comparable.
CONCLUSIONS: GU-MTB and GU-NTM infections are indistinguishable from their clinical presentation and imaging studies. All cases of suspected genitourinary mycobacterial infections must be subjected to nucleic acid testing. Treatments based on clinical and radiological features without culture studies may misdiagnose GU-NTM infections as MDR GU-MTB, thereby delaying the appropriate treatment.