Pulmonary mycobacterium chimaera infection

Last revised by Joshua Yap on 21 Oct 2022

Pulmonary mycobacterium chimaera infection is a rare form of non-tuberculous myobacterial infection


Although rare, it is recognized as an emerging opportunistic threat in patients undergoing coronary arterial bypass surgery and open heart procedures requiring extracorporeal devices 1.


It occurs due to Mycobacterium chimaera, a slow-growing non-tuberculous mycobacterium grouped with Mycobacterium intracellulare and Mycobacterium avium to make up the Mycobacterium avium complex.

Along with pulmonary infections, it can also manifest as various cardiac and extra-cardiac conditions such as:

  • prosthetic valve endocarditis

  • sternal wound infection

  • aortic graft infection

  • disseminated (non-cardiac) disease

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