More and more reports and guidance (Ref) appear with regard to Mycobacterial infections associated with heater cooler units used during thoracic surgery. As mentioned in this blog before, the infections are attributed to aerosol generated by the contaminated heater cooler units that are located in or adjacent to the operating room (Ref).
Just now, researchers published 10 patients with disseminated Mycobacterium chimaera infections subsequent to open-heart surgery at three (CH, GER, NL) European Hospitals (Eur Heart J. 2015 Jul 17).
What makes this infections special, is the fact that the time to infection may takes months to years and that the micro-organism in question is easily missed by routine bacterial diagnostics.
The word is out, that other, difficult to diagnose micro-organisms e.g. Legionella are possibly causing post-operative infections, too. Thus, I believe that we can expect more cases with different pathogens in the near future.
One thought on “Up-date on M. chimaera”
Thanks Andreas. A very useful update. Helpful resources from PHE here https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/mycobacterial-infections-associated-with-heater-cooler-units
So how many hospitals are using culture methods that would actually grow these organisms? Around about none I’d say!