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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 217-227

Nontuberculous mycobacterium: An emerging pathogen: Indian perspective

1 Department of Bacteriology, ICMR- National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of The Director, ICMR- National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Mini Unit-5, ICMR - Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Chandrasekaran Padmapriyadarsini
Director, ICMR-National Institute for Researc in Tuberculosis, No. 1. Mayor Sathya Moorthy Road, Chetpet, Chennai - 600 031, Tamilnadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmy.ijmy_141_21

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Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), considered as mere contaminants, are off late, being reported as potential pathogens through various studies. The infections due to NTM range from pulmonary to extra pulmonary including skin and soft-tissue infections, traumatic and surgical wound infections, and catheter and implant-associated infections. Although extrapulmonary infections are extensively explored, pulmonary infections are scarcely reported due to their misdiagnosis as tuberculosis caused by M. tuberculosis (MTB). Appropriate detection methods are essential in order to facilitate the differential diagnosis of NTM from MTB infections. We aimed to collate the data available on NTM diagnosis and its epidemiology in India in this review. While diagnosis of MTB itself is more challenging in India, for appropriate treatment of NTM, special training and attention is needed for differential diagnosis of the former from latter. Currently, in India, in addition to the available techniques for identification of NTM, line probe assay (Hains life sciences) is proving to be a promising tool for the detection of NTM (common mycobacteria/additional species kit) and their antimicrobial resistance (Genotype NTM-DR VER 1.0). In future, with the price of sequencing steadily coming down, with proper monitoring, whole-genome sequencing could be the test of choice to predict the species, drug resistance, outbreaks in hospitals, and transmission dynamics.

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