Infect Dis Poverty. 2021 Apr 29;10(1):59. doi: 10.1186/s40249-021-00844-1.
BACKGROUND: Information on the prevalence and resistance spectrum of nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) in China is mainly based on regional or local data. To estimate the proportion of NTM cases in China, a national survey of NTM pulmonary disease was carried out based on acid-fast positive sputum samples collected in 2013.
METHODS: Sputum samples collected from enrolled presumptive cases in 72 nationwide tuberculosis surveillance sites from the 31 provinces in the mainland of China were cultured using L-J medium at the National tuberculosis reference laboratory (NTRL). MALDI-TOF MS identified the species of re-cultured strains, and minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were determined to evaluate the drug susceptibility of NTM isolates. Data analysis used statistical software SPSS version 22.0 for Windows statistical package.
RESULTS: Of 4917 mycobacterial isolates cultured, 6.4% [317/4917, 95% confidence interval (CI) 5.8%-7.2%] were confirmed as NTM, among which 7.7% (287/3709, 95% CI 6.9%-8.6%) were from the southern region. In inland and coastal China, 87.7% (95% CI 78.7%-93.2%) and 50.0% (95% CI 43.7%-56.3%) of isolates, respectively, were slow-growing mycobacteria (SGM), with the remaining rapid growing mycobacteria (RGM). A total of 29 species were detected, Mycobacterium abscessus had higher clarithromycin-inducible resistance rates than M. massiliense (65.67% vs 2.22%). M. kansasii presented lower resistance rates in linezolid and moxifloxacin than M. avium-intracellulare complex (3.23% vs 66.67%, 0 vs 47.22%) and other SGM (3.23% vs 38%, 0 vs 26%).
CONCLUSIONS: More NTM pulmonary disease was observed in the south and coastal China (P < 0.01). SGM was widely distributed, and more RGM are present in southern and coastal China (P < 0.01). The antimicrobial resistance spectrum of different NTM species was significantly different and accurate species identification would be facilitated to NTM pulmonary disease treatment.