Pulmonary Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Disease, Ontario, Canada, 1998–2010 - Vol. 19 No. 11 - November 2013 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC
Volume 19, Number 11—November 2013
Pulmonary Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Disease, Ontario, Canada, 1998–2010
Pulmonary nontuberculous mycobacterial (pNTM) disease is clinically challenging. Therapy entails complex antimycobacterial drug combinations, typically for 18 months (1), often with poor tolerability (2) and limited success (3). pNTM disease is increasingly common in Canada (4) and the United States (5–7), but its prevalence is not well understood. Determining the epidemiology of pNTM disease is difficult for several reasons. It is generally not reportable, so population-level data are not routinely compiled. The diagnosis requires clinical and radiologic information in addition to microbiological examination (> 2 positive sputum cultures or 1 bronchoscopic or biopsy culture) (1). Finally, the chronic nature of pNTM disease dictates longitudinal study, illustrated by considering that only a minority with pNTM disease appear to be treated (18% in 1 study) (6), treatment succeeds in only 56% (3), and disease recurs in > 30% of patients (2,8). These data indicate that most pNTM cases are expected to be chronic. Cases detected by isolation of nontuberculous Mycobacterium spp. in 1 year, generally remain prevalent over several subsequent years, regardless of the reliable appearance of subsequent isolates, with a disease duration that may depend primarily on patient survival.
AbstractWe measured the prevalence and temporal trends of pulmonary nontuberculous mycobacterial disease among residents of Ontario, Canada, during 1998–2010. Five-year prevalence increased from 29.3 cases/100,000 persons in 1998–2002 to 41.3/100,000 in 2006–2010 (p< 0.0001). Improved laboratory methods did not explain this increase, suggesting a surge in disease prevalence.
The traditional method of identifying cases for NTM disease epidemiology studies by using mycobacterial laboratory databases and measuring annual prevalence is not ideal. Such studies assume that, in patients with pNTM disease, the organism is isolated during every year of disease, an invalid assumption (6). Recent investigators have focused on prevalence within a defined period (period prevalence) as an improved estimate of pNTM disease, including a 2-year study in Oregon (5), 3-year sampling of 4 US health care delivery systems (6), and < 11-year US-wide sample of Medicare beneficiaries (7). Important limitations of these studies included the patient populations and geographic regions selected and the limited data about temporal prevalence changes. Expanding on methods of previous studies to overcome some prior limitations, we performed a population-based study of pNTM disease in Ontario, Canada, using 5-year periods for prevalence calculations and compared prevalence from 1998–2002 to 2006–2010.