Species Identification of Non-Tuberculous Mycobacteria in the Ugandan Population

Infections with non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are on the rise worldwide, directing the global focus to these lesser known organisms. NTM range from harmless microbes to potentially fatal pathogens affecting the lungs as well as other organs. NTM infections have emerged with the increase of modern immunosuppressive treatments, as are used in cancer patients, diseases of the immune system and transplant recipients. HIV with severe immunosuppression is typical risk factor for NTM infection in the global South. Treating NTM is a challenge as it involves long and complex antibiotic regimens tailored to the individual patient and the type of NTM. In order to ensure an effective treatment it is indispensable to know the NTM strain and its antibiotic resistances. The epidemiology of NTM has rarely been studied. As NTM disease is not a reportable condition, population-based data is scarce. With this retrospective study, we aim to describe the NTM species isolated in the Ugandan population and to describe patient characteristics and outcomes. As there are an estimated 420 laboratory NTM specimens available, this is one of the largest sets of NTM specimens studied thus far.

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