Laboratory procedures for the detection and identification of cutaneous non-tuberculous mycobacterial infections


Correspondence: Kazue Nakanaga, Ph.D., Department of Mycobacteriology, Leprosy Research Center, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, 4-2-1 Aoba, Higashi-Murayama, Tokyo 189-0002, Japan. Email:


There is evidence that the incidence of cutaneous non-tuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) infection is increasing worldwide. Novel culture methods and new analytical procedures have led to significant advancements in understanding the origin and progression of NTM infections. Differential identification of NTM isolates is important because culture characteristics and/or sensitivity to anti-mycobacterium drugs vary between different mycobacterial species. In this manuscript, we describe the latest diagnostic techniques for cutaneous NTM infection and show how these methodologies can be used for the diagnosis of Buruli ulcer in Japan.