Diagnostic delay of pulmonary nontuberculous mycobacterial infection in China
Background: Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) infection is an emerging, but neglected public health concern in China.
Findings: To investigate diagnostic delay of NTM diseases in China, we analyzed 91 patients with pulmonary NTM infection in Shandong Province. The median diagnostic delay time of the analyzed patients was 84 days, which was significantly associated with rural inhabitance (135 days vs. 73 days of urban inhabitance, p < 0.01) and lower level of first visiting hospitals/clinics (70 and 82 days of tertiary and secondary hospitals/clinics respectively vs. 120 days of primary hospitals/clinics, p < 0.05). M. farcinogenes was isolated from a 79-year-old male patient, which is the first report of pulmonary infection in humans.
Conclusions: Our results indicate a significant diagnostic delay of NTM diseases in China, especially for rural patients with limited access to higher-level healthcare services.
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