Notification of nontuberculous mycobacteria: an Australian perspective

Thomson, Rachel, Donnan, Ellen and Konstantinos, Anastasios (2017) Notification of nontuberculous mycobacteria: an Australian perspective. Annals of the American Thoracic Society, 14 3: 318-323. doi:10.1513/AnnalsATS.201612-994OI

Author Thomson, Rachel
Donnan, Ellen
Konstantinos, Anastasios
Title Notification of nontuberculous mycobacteria: an Australian perspective
Journal name Annals of the American Thoracic Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2325-6621
Publication date 2017-03-01
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201612-994OI
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 14
Issue 3
Start page 318
End page 323
Total pages 6
Place of publication New York, NY, United States
Publisher American Thoracic Society
Language eng
Formatted abstract
In Queensland, Australia, all cases of mycobacterial infection (tuberculosis [TB] and nontuberculous mycobacteria [NTM]) are notifiable under the Queensland Public Health Act (2005). This process originally emerged to avoid NTM confounding with notification of cases of TB, but has facilitated awareness of the increasing incidence and changing epidemiology of NTM. Although initially not a public health priority, the notification process has facilitated research that has led to an appreciation of both public health and environmental health issues associated with these pathogens. When reports of NTM infections were low in frequency, reporting was managed largely by clinicians specializing in TB. However, as reports of NTM isolates surpassed those for TB, the workload associated with clinical reporting exceeded resources. The Communicable Diseases Branch transitioned to digital reporting of laboratory isolates of mycobacteria, thereby enabling weekly and quarterly reporting of data, and generation of more detailed annual reports. The reports now include species and geographic distributions by health service district, allowing identification of clusters requiring further investigation and systematic reviews of different species. With ecological and climate change, the distribution and virulence of these emerging pathogens are evolving. Evidence of transmission of highly virulent and antibiotic-resistant clones of Mycobacterium abscessus among patients with cystic fibrosis internationally heightens the need for timely reporting to public health authorities. Ongoing systematic monitoring by public health authorities will be crucial to our understanding of NTM diseases.
Keyword Mycobacteria
Mycobacterium abscessus
Mycobacterium avium complex
Nontuberculous mycobacteria
Public health
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
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