The geographic diversity of nontuberculous mycobacteria isolated from pulmonary samples: An NTM-NET collaborative study

Wouter Hoefsloot, Jakko Van Ingen*, Claire Andrejak, Kristian Angeby, Rosine Bauriaud, Pascale Bemer, Natalie Beylis, Martin J. Boeree, Juana Cacho, Violet Chihota, Erica Chimara, Gavin Churchyard, Raquel Cias, Rosa Daza, Charles L. Daley, P. N. Richard Dekhuijzen, Diego Domingo, Francis Drobniewski, Jaime Esteban, Maryse Fauvilte-DufauxDorte Bek Folkvardsen, Noel Gibbons, Enrique Gomez-Mampaso, Rosa Gonzalez, Harald Hoffmann, Po-Ren Hsueh, Alexander Indra, Tomasz Jagielski, Frances Jamieson, Mateja Jankovic, Eefje Jong, Joseph Keane, Wo-Jung Koh, Bent Lange, Sylvia Leao, Rita Macedo, Lurid Mannsaker, Theodore K. Marras, Jeannette Maugein, Heather Milburn, Tannas Mlinko, Nora Morcillo, Kozo Morimoto, Dimitrios Papaventsis, Elia Palenque, Mar Paez-Peria, Claudio Piersimoni, Monika Polanova, Nalin Rastogi, Elvira Richter, NonTB Mycobacteria Network

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    587 Citations (Scopus)


    A significant knowledge gap exists concerning the geographical distribution of nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) isolation worldwide.

    To provide a snapshot of NTM species distribution, global partners in the NTM-Network European Trials Group (NET) framework (, a branch of the Tuberculosis Network European Trials Group (TB-NET), provided identification results of the total number of patients in 2008 in whom NTM were isolated from pulmonary samples. From these data, we visualised the relative distribution of the different NTM found per continent and per country.

    We received species identification data for 20182 patients, from 62 laboratories in 30 countries across six continents. 91 different NTM species were isolated. Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) bacteria predominated in most countries, followed by M. gordonae and M. xenopi. Important differences in geographical distribution of MAC species as well as M. xenopi, M. kansasii and rapid-growing mycobacteria were observed.

    This snapshot demonstrates that the species distribution among NTM isolates from pulmonary specimens in the year 2008 differed by continent and differed by country within these continents. These differences in species distribution may partly determine the frequency and manifestations of pulmonary NTM disease in each geographical location.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1604-1613
    Number of pages10
    JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013




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