Notice: CPHLN device testing for non-tuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM)


Volume 43-3/4, March 2, 2017: Tuberculosis (TB)


CPHLN device testing recommendations regarding non-tuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) contamination in heater-cooler units

Source: Canadian Public Health Laboratory Network Device Testing Working Group (CPHLN DTWG) with consultation from the Infection Prevention and Control Expert Working Group and Health Canada. Canadian Public Health Laboratory Network (CPHLN) Device Testing Recommendations regarding Non-Tuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) Contamination in Heater-Cooler Units.

It is the position of the CPHLN DTWG that testing environmental samples from heater-cooler units for M. chimaera is not recommended at this time given the lack of available evidence to suggest its value in determining the risk that individual devices pose.

Laboratory detection of M. chimaera in environmental samples collected from heater-cooler units presents numerous challenges, including but not limited to:

  1. Methods for sample collection, sample processing, and M. chimaera detection in environmental samples from heater-cooler units have not been standardized nor validated.
  2. Sensitivity, specificity, limit of detection, and negative and positive predictive value of testing are unknown making it impossible to accurately assess patient risk based on testing for M. chimaera from heater-cooler units.
  3. The patient safety risks associated with removing heater-cooler units from service for prolonged periods while waiting for environmental mycobacterial test results, and thereby delaying the initiation of surgical procedures deemed urgent, likely exceed the risk of M. chimaera infection.
  4. The paucity of available data regarding growth and viability of M. chimaera in heater-cooler units.
  5. The inability to determine the efficacy of decontamination procedures for heater-cooler units through testing.

These recommendations are similar to those of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and others and may evolve as new information becomes available. Any such changes will be made in the complete document.

CCDR call for submissions

The Editorial team of the Canada Communicable Disease Report (CCDR) is pleased to announce that the journal has passed the scientific review for PubMed Central and will soon have the capacity to send full-text articles to PubMed.

We invite interested authors to submit papers to CCDR on the surveillance, prevention, detection and mitigation of infectious diseases. Papers can either be targeted at upcoming theme issues, or in addition to the theme of an issue.

Papers for upcoming theme issues

Here are the submission deadlines for future theme issues:

Submission deadline Theme issue
June 12, 2017 Climate change and infectious diseases
July 17, 2017 Antimicrobial resistance
Aug. 14, 2017 HIV/AIDS
Sept. 18, 2017 Foodborne illness

Papers in addition to the theme of an issue

We regularly publish articles in addition to those on the theme.

We welcome submissions in either French or English of original research, systematic reviews, outbreak reports, implementation science reports (describing innovative projects or policies), commentaries, and notes from the field (e.g. first-hand accounts). All papers undergo a double-blind peer-review. We have checklists for authors that match our peer-reviewer forms for many of these types of articles. See our Information for Authors for submission requirements.

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