A systematic review of waterborne infections from nontuberculous mycobacteria in health care facility water systems

Healthcare-acquired infections due to nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) have been reported in different studies; however, the exposure routes, susceptible populations, and attack rate (number of patients infected per patients exposed) are unclear. We performed a systematic review of health care associated NTM infections from health care facility water systems. We found that immunocompromised, post-surgical, and hemodialysis patients were commonly affected populations. NTM infections were due to a range of exposure routes, such as wound exposure and contamination during surgical procedures, with the median attack rate at 12%. Effective prevention strategies will require both medical and environmental health expertise, and inter-professional cooperation.

A systematic review of waterborne infections from nontuberculous mycobacteria in health care facility water systems. Trudy Li, Lydia S. Abebe, Ryan Cronk, and Jamie Bartram. 2017. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, forthcoming. doi:10.1016/j.ijheh.2016.12.002.