Epidemiology and management of nontuberculous mycobacterial disease in people with cystic fibrosis, the Netherlands

Domenique Zomer, Jakko van Ingen*, Regina Hofland, Dutch CF Registry Steering group, Michiel Bannier, Lennart Conemans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are opportunistic, difficult to treat pathogens. With increasing prevalence of NTM infections in people with cystic fibrosis (pwCF) and the improved life expectancy, the burden is expected to grow.

METHODS: We assessed the epidemiology and management of NTM isolation and disease in pwCF in the Netherlands using a survey and retrospective, case-controlled data from the Dutch CF Registry. We determined the isolation prevalence, treatment and outcomes from 2013-2019.

RESULTS: NTM isolation prevalence increased from 1.0% to 3.6% (2013-2019). This was a single NTM isolation in 53.7% of the adults and 60.0% of the children. M. abscessus and M. avium complex (MAC) were most frequent (47.1 and 30.9%). Of the treated pwCF, 48.5% attained culture conversion of M. abscessus; 54.5% for MAC. Children with an NTM isolation showed more infections with S. maltophilia and/or A. fumigatus (p < 0.001) compared to controls. In the year prior to NTM isolation, children in the NTM group had a lower mean FEV1% predicted (81.5 ± 16.7 vs. 88.6 ± 15.3, p = 0.024), while adults in the NTM group had more IV antibiotic days compared to controls (60 vs. 17, p = 0.047). In the following years, FEV1% predicted declined faster in pwCF with NTM than the control group (children: -3.8% vs. -1.6%, p = 0.023; adults: -0.7% and 0.4%, ns).

CONCLUSIONS: The isolation prevalence of 3.6%, poor treatment outcomes and associated lung function decline emphasize that NTM pulmonary disease (NTM-PD) is a significant health issue among pwCF in the Netherlands. Its prevention and treatment require increased attention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-333
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cystic Fibrosis
Issue number2
Early online date5 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


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