Purpose: Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) infection is an important issue after lung transplantation. However, a large-scale epidemiological study on this issue in Korea is lacking. We aimed to evaluate the epidemiology of NTM infection after lung transplant surgery in Korea. Methods: Between October 2012 and December 2018, we retrospectively evaluated lung transplant recipients in a referral hospital in South Korea. A total of 215 recipients were enrolled. The median age at transplantation was 56 years (range, 17–75), and 62% were men. Bronchoscopy was performed according to the surveillance protocol and clinical indications. A diagnosis of NTM infection was defined as a positive NTM culture from a bronchial washing, bronchoalveolar lavage sample, or two separate sputum samples. We determined NTM pulmonary disease (NTM-PD) according to the American Thoracic Society/Infectious Disease Society of America 2007 guidelines. The Kaplan–Meier method and log-rank test were used for conditional survival analysis in patients with follow-up of ≥12 months. Results: Fourteen patients (6.5%) were diagnosed with NTM infection at a median of 11.8 months (range, 0.3–51.4) after transplantation. Nine patients (4.2%) were diagnosed with NTM-PD, and the incidence rate was 1980/100,000 person-years. Mycobacterium abscessus was the most common species causing NTM-PD (66%), followed by M. avium complex (33%). The presence of NTM infection did not influence all-cause mortality among those who underwent follow-up for ≥12 months (N = 133, log-rank P = 0.816). Conclusion: The incidence of NTM-PD was considerably high among lung-transplant recipients. M. abscessus was the most common causative species of NTM-PD after lung transplantation.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases