Chapter 37 : Rapidly Growing Mycobacteria

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The history of the major pathogenic species of rapidly growing mycobacteria (RGM) can be traced back to the early 20th century beginning with Friedmann's recovery of from the lungs of two sea turtles. Currently, the RGM are grouped into six major taxonomic groups according to pigmentation and genetic relatedness. The major groups are the group, the / group, the group ( and ), the group, the / group, and the pigmented RGM. The RGM are ubiquitous in the environment. The disease pathogenesis likely results from microtrauma caused by shaving the legs prior to pedicures and footbath water that is heavily contaminated with RGM due to failure to routinely clear the footbath filters. High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) of mycolic acids may be used in large reference laboratories but it can identify only a few species adequately. Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of selected gene targets such as hsp65 are currently used in some larger reference laboratories. Currently, the only nucleic acid probe available for identification of the RGM but not yet cleared by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States is the INNO- LiPA multiplex probe assay. Current antimicrobial regimens for treatment of disease caused by the RGM are based upon their unique in vitro susceptibility patterns. Finally, the chapter describes common clinical diseases caused due to RGM.

Citation: Brown-Elliott B, Wallace, Jr. R. 2011. Rapidly Growing Mycobacteria, p 565-577. In Schlossberg D (ed), Tuberculosis and Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Infections, Sixth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817138.ch37

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Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha
Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism
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Table 1.

Currently recognized species of RGM

Citation: Brown-Elliott B, Wallace, Jr. R. 2011. Rapidly Growing Mycobacteria, p 565-577. In Schlossberg D (ed), Tuberculosis and Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Infections, Sixth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817138.ch37
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Table 2.

Antimicrobials used for treatment of commonly encountered species of RGM

Citation: Brown-Elliott B, Wallace, Jr. R. 2011. Rapidly Growing Mycobacteria, p 565-577. In Schlossberg D (ed), Tuberculosis and Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Infections, Sixth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817138.ch37
Generic image for table
Table 3.

General principles of therapy of RGM disease

Citation: Brown-Elliott B, Wallace, Jr. R. 2011. Rapidly Growing Mycobacteria, p 565-577. In Schlossberg D (ed), Tuberculosis and Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Infections, Sixth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817138.ch37
Generic image for table
Table 4.

Species or taxonomic group and their common clinical diseases

Citation: Brown-Elliott B, Wallace, Jr. R. 2011. Rapidly Growing Mycobacteria, p 565-577. In Schlossberg D (ed), Tuberculosis and Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Infections, Sixth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817138.ch37
Generic image for table
Table 5.

Pulmonary syndromes associated with positive respiratory cultures for RGM

Citation: Brown-Elliott B, Wallace, Jr. R. 2011. Rapidly Growing Mycobacteria, p 565-577. In Schlossberg D (ed), Tuberculosis and Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Infections, Sixth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817138.ch37

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