7.5 Causes of Pseudo-Outbreaks

Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) related nosocomial outbreaks and pseudo-outbreaks have been documented for more than two decades and continue to be a problem. The fast-growing mycobacterial organisms Mycobacterium fortuitum and Mycobacterium abscessus have been involved in most epidemics.

Sternal chronic wounds, cosmetic surgery wound infections, and post-injection abscesses are the most common causes of disease outbreaks. Similarly, the most common causes of pseudo-outbreaks are tainted bronchoscopes and endoscopic cleaning machines (M. abscessus) and contaminated healthcare water supplies (M. xenopi).

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