Methods: All sputa collected for AFB culture from diagnosed TB patients at TCID and SAM during 2014 were included. Sputum samples were processed at the Texas Department of State and Health Services (DSHS) Laboratory. Genotyping was performed on available M. gordonae isolates to ascertain relatedness.
Results: A total of 2053 sputum samples were processed; 1288 (62.74%) from TCID and 765 (37.26%) from SAM. One (0.08%) and 5 (0.65%) from TCID and SAM respectively were contaminated. Only NTM grew from 55 (4.27%) and 21 (2.75%) from TCID and SAM respectively. M. gordonae accounted for 28 of 55 (50.91%) of the NTM at TCID and only 1 of 21 (4.76%) at SAM. No patients had evidence of NTM disease. Review of protocols identified breaches (eating and drinking prior to collection, delays in transport) which may have increased the recovery of NTM. Sterile water was not used to rinse the mouth by either facility.
Conclusion: Neither the hospital nor the clinic had adequate protocols. A breach at TCID accounted for the increase in M. gordonae isolates. The percentage of contaminated sputa was lower at TCID and SAM than the DSHS Laboratory average of 1.3%. This may reflect a quicker transport time to the laboratory. In areas where tap water or bottled water contains NTM, the use of sterile water to rinse the mouth prior to collection of sputa should be recommended.
L. Armitige, None
D. E. Griffith, None
D. Dunbar, None
T. Schlenker, None
B. Seaworth, None