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Volume 15, Number 2—February 2009


Nontuberculous Mycobacteria, Zambia

Patricia C.A.M. BuijtelsComments to Author , Marianne A.B. van der Sande, Cas S. de Graaff, Shelagh Parkinson, Henri A. Verbrugh, Pieter L.C. Petit, and Dick van Soolingen
Author affiliations: Medical Centre Rijnmond-Zuid, Rotterdam, the Netherlands (P.C.A.M. Buijtels); University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam (P.C.A.M. Buijtels, H.A. Verbrugh); National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, the Netherlands (M.A.B. van der Sande, D. van Soolingen); Medical Centre Alkmaar, Alkmaar, the Netherlands (C.S. de Graaff); St. Francis Hospital, Katete, Zambia (S. Parkinson); Vlietland Hospital, Schiedam, the Netherlands (P.L.C. Petit)

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Table 1

Culture results for 180 hospitalized chronically ill patients and 385 controls, Zambia, August 2002–March 2003*

Results Patients Controls
Culture exclusively Mycobacterium tuberculosis, no. (%) 60 (33) 2 (0.5)
Culture M. tuberculosis and NTM, no. (%) 12 (7) 1 (0.3)
Culture exclusively NTM,† no. (%) 19 (11) 61 (16)
Culture NTM,‡ no. (%) 31 (17) 62 (16)
2 sputum or gargle samples cultured 154 383
2 sputum or gargle samples cultured from NTM-positive person 29 of 31 NTM-positive patients 62 of 62 NTM-positive controls
1 NTM-positive culture in NTM-positive person with 2 samples cultured 22 of 29 NTM-positive patients 61 of 62 NTM-positive controls
1 NTM-positive cultures in NTM-positive person with 2 samples cultured 4 of 29 NTM-positive patients 1 of 62 NTM-positive controls
2 NTM-positive cultures in persons with 2 samples cultured§ 4 of 154 patients with 2 samples cultured 1 of 383 controls with 2 samples cultured

*NTM, nontuberculous mycobacteria.
†Proportion of patients with exclusively NTM was comparable with controls (p = 0.2).
‡NTM isolated with or without M. tuberculosis.
§Significantly more patients than controls had 2 sputum or gargle cultures positive for NTM (p<0.05).

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