Mycobacterium chimaera Spread from Heating and Cooling Units in Heart Surgery

 

A global outbreak of infections with a form of nontuberculous mycobacteria, Mycobacterium chimaera, has occurred after open-heart surgery. The infections are thought to be acquired through airborne transmission of aerosolized bacteria from water tanks.

A recent study used whole-genome sequencing to demonstrate that transmission of M. chimaera likely occurred from a point source. The study has the potential to improve responses to future outbreaks.

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Maximum-likelihood tree

 

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