Identifying Environmental Sources of Mycobacterium avium Complex to Prevent Disease
Mycobacterium avium complex, commonly referred to as MAC, consists of two species of bacteria. They include Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium intracellulare. These species can cause disease in humans and are found in various environmental settings across the globe. Interestingly the ecology, epidemiology and transmission of MAC is very similar to Legionella. Both are commonly found in building water systems.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), MAC related diseases have increased significantly since the 1940’s. Several different syndromes are caused by MAC including hypersensitivity pneumonitis, disseminated infections in HIV infected people and primary pulmonary infections (PPIs). PPIs typically occur in Caucasian or Asian women over the age of 50. The symptoms include chronic cough, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, fatigue, fever, weight loss and night sweats. If not treated, PPIs can be fatal.
There is research ongoing to determine why M. avium subspecies paratuberculosis is often found in conjunction with people who have Crohn’s disease. For children, the most common disease is cervical lymphadenitis according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This condition is defined by enlarged, tender and inflamed lymph nodes of the neck.
“MAC has been found in fresh water, salt water, hot water systems, soils, contaminated aerosolized water, milk, plants and with various types of animals,” said Charles Li, Ph.D., Director of PCR and DNA Analysis at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “At EMSL, we offer testing services for Mycobacterium avium from environmental samples. We have the ability to utilize Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) techniques which provide our customers with exceptionally accurate test results that are available in a very short period of time.”
EMSL recently sponsored a video about Mycobacterium avium complex that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/gtxFovZuLqo.
To learn more about Mycobacterium avium complex or other microbial pathogens and environmental testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com .
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.
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