Levett, P. N.; Brown, Paul D.; Hector, S.; Scantlebury, M. U.; Roach, T. C.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Basic Medical Sciences
Clustering of cases of Mycobacterium fortuitum infection investigated by molecular typing
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
Organisms of the Mycobacterium fortuitum complex are recognised but uncommon causes of pulmonary disease, primary cutaneous disease and a wide spectrum of nosocomial infections. M fortuitum was isolated from 20 patients over a 15 month period, with an apparent clustering of isolates occurring from January to March 1994. The molecular epidemiology of this clustering was investigated using an arbitrary primer polymerase chain reaction method (AP-PCR). 21 isolates were studied, which yielded 13 distinct profiles. Multiple isolates from a single patient yielded identical profiles. All of seven isolates recovered during the six week period from January to March 1994 shared a common profile which was distinct from all other isolates, suggesting that a single strain was isolated from specimens from all seven patients. The source of this cluster is uncertain. We can find no epidemiological basis for an episode of cross-infection within the hospital environment, and it is assumed that contamination of the specimens during collection, transport or processing was responsible for the 'pseudo-outbreak' of M fortuitum.....