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Protective Efficacy of BCG Vaccine against and Non-Tuberculous Mycobacterial Infections.


The genus mycobacterium includes several species that are known to cause infections in humans. The microorganisms are classified into tuberculous and non-tuberculous based on their morphological characteristics, defined by the dynamic relationship between the host defenses and the infectious agent. Non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) include all the species of mycobacterium other than the ones that cause tuberculosis (TB). The group of NTM contains almost 200 different species and they are found in soil, water, animals-both domestic and wild-milk and food products, and from plumbed water resources such as sewers and showerhead sprays. A systematic review of Medline between 1946 and 2014 showed an 81% decline in TB incidence rates with a simultaneous 94% increase in infections caused by NTM. Prevalence of infections due to NTM has increased relative to infections caused by TB owing to the stringent prevention and control programs in Western countries such as the USA and Canada. While the spread of typical mycobacterial infections such as TB and leprosy involves human contact, NTM seem to spread easily from the environment without the risk of acquiring from a human contact except in the case of in patients with cystic fibrosis, where human transmission as well as transmission through fomites and aerosols has been recorded. NTM are opportunistic in their infectious processes, making immunocompromised individuals such as those with other systemic infections such as HIV, immunodeficiencies, pulmonary disease, or usage of medications such as long-term corticosteroids/TNF-α inhibitors more susceptible. This review provides insight on pathogenesis, treatment, and BCG vaccine efficacy against and some important NTM infections.

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Journal Article
Orujyan D
Narinyan W
Rangarajan S
Rangchaikul P
Prasad C
Saviola B
Venketaraman V