Identification of Non Tuberculous Mycobacteria Isolated from Isfahan Different Water Sources Using Phenotypic Characterization Tests

Document Type : Research Paper



In recent decades, by increasing immunocompromised patients, disease related to nontuberculous mycobacteria, previously known as environmental opportunistic pathogen, has been raised. In this study, 85 water samples from different sources in Isfahan were evaluated for the presence of NTM. Phenotypic tests were used to identify NTM species. Twenty one out of 85 (24.7%) collected water samples had at least one NTM. Of these, 23.8% (5 isolates) and 14.3 % (3 isolates) were M. furtuitum and M. smegmatis, respectively.  Two cases for each isolates (9.5%) were identified as M. chelonae like organisms, M. terrae complex, M. gordonae and M. mucogenicum. One cases for each isolates (4.8%) was determined as M. avium complex, M. phlei, M. xenopi, M. fallax, and M. flavescence. The results showed the incidence of different species of NTM in this geographical region in Iran. Because of increasing immunocompromised disease in communities, and high frequency of NTM in different geographical regions, understanding the NTM distribution in environment would help clinicians to manage proper treatment strategy.


- Horsburg, C. R. Jr. (1991). “Mycobacterium avium complex infection in the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.”, 324, 1332-1338.
2- Peters, M. C., Muller, S., RuSch Gerdes, C., Seidel, U., Gobel, H. D., and Pohle and Ruf, B. (1995). “Isolation of atypical mycobacteria from tap water in hospitals and homes.” J. Infect., 31, 39-44.
3- Covert, T. C., Rodgers, M.R., Reyes, A.L., and Stelema, G.N. (1999). “Occurrence of non tuberculous mycobacteria in environmental sample.” Appl. Environ Microbiol, 68(6), 3159-3161.
4- Lin, C., Xue, C., Ting, Z.C., Huan, D.B., and Zhong, Z.J. (2006). “Identification of mycobacterium marinum 65KD heat shock protein gene by polymerase chain reaction analyses from lesion of swimming pool granuloma.” Chin. Med. Journal, 119(1), 43-48.
5- Torvinen, E., and Suomalaine, S. (2004). “Mycobacteria in water and loose deposits of drinking water distribution system in Finland.” Appl. Enviro Microbiol, 70(4), 1973-1981.
6- Groote, M.A.D., and Huitt, G. (2006). “Infections due to rapidly growing mycobacteria.” Clini. Infec. Dis., 42, 1756-1763.
7- Black, W.C., and Berks, S.G. (2003). “Cooling towers a potential environmental source of slow growing mycobacteria species.” AIHAJ (Fair fax.Va), 64(2), 238-242.
8- Shin, J. H., Lee, E. J., Lee, H. R., Ryu, S. M., Kim, R. H., Chang, C. L., Kim, Y. J., and Lee, J. N. (2007). “Prevalence of non tuberculosis mycobacteria in a hospital environment.” J. Hosp. Infec., 65, 143- 148.
9- Kotoch, V.M. (2004). “Infections due to non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM).” Indion J. med Res., 120, 290-304.
10- Naserpour Farivar, T., and Sharifi, B. (2006). “Prevalence of non-tuberculousis mycobacteria in southeast of Iran.” 16th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMI). France.
11- Taylor, R.H., Falkinham, J.O., Norton, C.D., and Lechevallier, M.W. (2000). “Chlorine, chloramine, chlorine dioxide, and ozone susceptibility of M.avium.” Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 66, 1702-1705.
12- Schulze-Robbecke, R., Weber, A., and Fischeder, R. (1991). “Comparison of  decontamination methods for the isolation of mycobacteria from drinking water samples.” J. Microbiol Methods, 14, 177-183.
13-APHA. AWWA. and WEF. (1992). Standard method for the examination of water and wastewater, 18th Ed., American Public Health Association, American Water Works Association Environmental Federation, Washaangton. D.C., 1-21.
14- DPD. (1997). National drinking water standards, 5th Ed., Iranian Industrial Research and Standards Organization Publications, Standard no .1053, Tehran. (In Persian)
15- AWWA., and WEF. (1995). Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater, 19th Ed., Washington, D.C.
16- Miyamoto, M., and Yamaguchi, Y. (2000). “Disinfectant effects of hot water, ultraviolet light, silver ions and chlorine on strains of Legionella and nontuberculous mycobacteria.” Microbios, 101(398), 7-13.
17- Bailey and Scott, B., (1990). Diagnostic microbiology, finegold., 8th Ed., USA.
18- Ronald Masster, N. (1991). Mycrobacteriology, USA.
19- Rahbar, M., Lamei, A., Babazade, H., and Afshar Yavari, Sh. (2010). “Isolation of rapid growing mycobacteria from soil and water in Iran.” Afr. J. Biotechnol., 9(24), 3618-3621
20- Ghazi Saiidi, K., Mohammadi, M., and Fatemi F.A. (1998). “Study of environmental mycobacterium from sediments of fish breeding pools northern Iran and its relationship with human skin diseases.” J. Infect. Dis., 2, 22-25.
21- Ghaemi, E., Ghazisaeidi, K., Koohsari, H., Khodabakhshi, B., and Mansoorian, A. (2006). “Environmental mycobacteria in areas of high and low tuberculosis prevalence in the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Le Reuve De Santé de La Mediterranee Orientale, 12(3/4), 280-285.
22- Lavania, M., Katoch, K., Parashar, D., Sharma, P., Das, R., Chauhan, D.S., Sharma, V.D., and Katoch, V.M. (2008). “Predominance of mycobacterium fortuitum-chelonae complex in Ghatampur field area, Endemic for Leprosy.” Indian J. Lepr, 80, 323- 330.
23- Nasr Isfahani, B., Bahadoran M., Esmi, J., Hoseini, N., Tavakoli, A., Javadi, A., and Narimani, T. (2010). Tuberculosi, genetic, control and management, diagnosis, drug resistance and treatment, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences Press, Isfahan.