Background: Bronchiectasis patients are predisposed to infection with non tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) but the exact prevalence of the disease is unknown, which may be higher than anticipated because of the non-specific symptoms and routine screening is not usually undertaken. The aim of the current study was to determine prevalence of non tuberculous mycobacterial infection in bronchiectasis patients.
Methods: A prospective study of fifty two patients with bronchiectasis irrespective of segments involved, having sputum for acid fast bacilli negative and willing to undergo fibreoptic bronchoscopy was taken. AFB Culture and Para nitro benzoic acid test for NTM were done in BAL sample.
Results: Out of fifty two patients, twenty eight (53.85%) were males and twenty four (46.15%) females. Eleven (21.2%) were positive for NTM in the study. Males positive for NTM had higher mean age (54.67yrs vs. 46yrs). Five (45.45%) NTM positive patients had history of anti-tubercular therapy (ATT) intake. Seven patients were positive for rapid growers (M. abcessus) and four for slow growers (MAC).
Conclusions: Bronchiectasis leads to NTM infection or vice versa is not possible to cite upon as symptom profile is similar. In the present study M.abcessus were twice as common as MAC in presence of bronchictasis. About one-fifth of patients in the study were positive for NTM having a significant association implying the importance of ruling out NTM in bronchiectasis patients.