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Volume 18, Number 10—October 2012


Nontuberculous Mycobacteria in Household Plumbing as Possible Cause of Chronic Rhinosinusitis

Wellington S. Tichenor1Comments to Author , Jennifer Thurlow1, Steven McNulty, Barbara A. Brown-Elliott, Richard J. Wallace, and Joseph O. Falkinham
Author affiliations: The Center for Allergy, Asthma and Sinusitis, New York, New York, USA (W.S. Tichenor, J. Thurlow); New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York (W.S. Tichenor); University of Texas Health Science Center, Tyler, Texas, USA (S. NcNulty, B.A. Brown-Elliott, R.J. Wallace, Jr.); Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA (J.O. Falkinham III)

Main Article

Table 1

Characteristics of patients whose sinuses yielded NTM in study of NTM in household plumbing, New York, New York, USA, 2001–2011*

Characteristics Value
Total patients 33 (100)
Age range, y 25–74
Prior functional endoscopic sinus surgery 30 (91)
Nasal polyps 12 (36)
Primary immunodeficiency 10 (30)
HIV positive 0†
Cystic fibrosis carrier state 1 (20)‡
Diabetes 0
Repeat culture NTM negative 21 (64)
Repeat culture NTM positive 2 (6)
Repeat culture not performed or lost 10 (30)
Symptoms improved 14 (42)
Symptoms unchanged 6 (18)
Other persistent microorganism§ 1 (3)
Refused treatment 3 (9)
Currently treated 9 (27)

*Values are no. (%) patients except as indicated. NTM, nontuberculous mycobacteria.
†No patients were known to be HIV positive; 16 were tested.
‡No patients were known to have cystic fibrosis; 5 were tested.
§Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Main Article

1These authors contributed equally to this article.