The global Mycobacterium chimaera outbreak

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Enrico Tortoli *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Enrico Tortoli |


Infections due to Mycobacterium chimaera associated with a heater-cooler device used during the open-heart surgery have been reported worldwide. These cases represent the first outbreak caused by a non-tuberculous mycobacterium at a global level. Salient features of the infection are long latency and high mortality. Different aspects of the M. chimaera outbreak, from the first detected cases to the present burden are reviewed in this study. Although the source has been found and thwarted, new cases continue to be detected due to the late manifestation of symptomatology. The treatment remains poorly effective and mortality is around 50%.

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