What is the primary testing methodology for the diagnosis of mycobacterium chelonae infection?

Updated: Dec 20, 2018
  • Author: Alfred Scott Lea, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Primary testing methodology is sputum smear for acid-fast bacilli (AFB) and culture for mycobacteria.

Microbiological findings to satisfy ATS diagnostic criteria include the following (at least one needed for accurate diagnosis):

  • Positive culture from 2 separate sputum samples

  • One positive culture from bronchial wash or lavage

  • A biopsy specimen with appropriate histopathologic features and a positive culture from an associated bronchial wash or biopsy culture

Induced sputum samples may be substituted for expectorated sputum samples, but data establishing the effectiveness of this technique are lacking.

A single positive isolate may represent a contaminant or a persistent or transient colonizer without pathogenicity. [35, 36]

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