Mycobacterium intracellulare is a Gram-positive, immobile rod-shaped bacterium. Together with Mycobacterium avium, it belongs to the Mycobacterium avium-complex (MAC) as well as to the group of non‐tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM).
Mycobacterium intracellulare causes diseases similar to tuberculosis. Disease patterns include:
(Chronic) lung infections
Lymphadenitis (inflammation of the lymph nodes)
Nephritis (inflammation of the kidney)
Lady Windermere syndrome (lung infection affecting the right middle lobe in elderly women)
Mycobacterium intracellulare is ubiquitous in the environment (in the soil and water). The bacteria are able to form biofilms.
Relevance of pathogen in transmission in endoscopy
Gastroenterology: Not relevant
Ear, nose, and throat: Not relevant
Urology: Not relevant
Relevance for endoscope surveillance
Low or moderate concern organism
Mycobacterium intracellulare can be transmitted via inhalation as well as via contaminated water or food.
The pathogens can also be spread and transmitted through water in healthcare facilities. The water used for final rinsing of endoscopes must therefore be microbiologically controlled to prevent a recontamination of the endoscope.
Resistance to antibiotics
Mycobacterium intracellulare is resistant to isoniazid, ethambutol, and streptomycin.
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Mycobacterium intracellulare. ScienceDirect. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/immunology-and-microbiology/mycobacterium-intracellulare (accessed on 08.04.2021).