An improved decontamination method has been demonstrated to reduce overgrowth of mycobacterial media by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and allow the successful recovery of nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) from cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Twenty microbiology laboratories participating in a multicenter investigation designed to determine the significance of NTM in CF patients were required to demonstrate proficiency in the incorporation of this improved method; this was accomplished by successful decontamination and culture workup of a panel of simulated sputum samples seeded with P. aeruginosa and various NTM. All laboratories successfully recovered NTM from samples with acid-fast bacillus (AFB) smear scores of 3+/4+ (i.e., 2 to 18 or >18 organisms/field). Low-inoculum samples (1+/2+ AFB smears [2 to 18 organisms in 100 or 10 fields]) were problematic in that processed specimens were often smear and/or culture negative.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)