OCCURRENCE OF MYCOBACTERIUM AVIUM AND MYCOBACTERIUM INTRACELLULARE IN DRINKING WATERASHISH K. ASTHANA AND ANITA PANDEY
Non-tuberculosis mycobacteria (NTM), mainly Mycobacterium avium complex (i.e. Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium intracellulare) are commonly present in all natural ecosystems including water, soil, food, dust, aerosols and are responsible for opportunistic human and animal infections. These organisms are an increasing health risk, especially in the growing immunodeficient population around the globe. They are capable of causing lymphadenitis and infections of the lungs, skin, soft tissue, bursa, joints, tendon sheath, bone, trauma or surgical wounds. Infections in cervical lymph nodes of young children with erupting teeth and elderly women without any of the known factors for M. avium complex infection have also been reported. Drinking water is mainly a source of mycobacterial infection in hospitalized AIDS patients. We analyzed drinking water samples of Meerut city and found 80% were contaminated with non- tuberculosis Mycobacterium sp. In which 37.5% were underground and 62.5% were tap water sample. Non- tuberculosis Mycobacteria sp. concentration (1-50 cfu/ml) was found in 103 (around 49%) of infected sample while around 30% showed 15-500 cfu/ml concentration. None of the sample was found above 500-cfu/m1 concentrations. Thus, inclusion of non-tuberculosis Mycobacteria sp. in the list of bacteriological indicators of water quality could improve drinking water quality standard.
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