Has Mycobacterium chimaera became a public health concern? A bibliometric analysis
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Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Turin, Italy
Department of Management, University of Turin, Italy
Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Turin,Italy
Health Local Unit ASL TO3, Turin, Italy
AOU City of Health and Science of Turin, Italy
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A108
Background and Objective: Mycobacterium chimaera (M. chimaera), a slow-growing non- tuberculous member of the Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC), was identified as a new species in 2004. Recently, M. chimaera has been in the spotlight as a cause of disseminated infection in patients following cardiac surgery performed with contaminated heater-cooler units (HCUs). M. chimaera infection has a long lasting latency: many years pass from infection to disease onset. M. chimaera is resistant to antimicrobial agents and its infection has high lethality. Thus, the aim of this study is to assess publication and citation related metrics, identify Keywords and most frequently discussed topics, and appraise geographic distribution of published articles. Methods: On date 2022/11/15 a directory of all publications containing “Mycobacterium chimaera” OR “M. chimaera” in all fields was excerpt from Web of Science. Bibliometric analysis was carried out using bibliometrix and biblioshiny packages on RStudio. Results: Total publications were 305 with an annual growth rate of 20.09% from 2004 to 2022. In 2017, a total of 53 articles were produced. Total citations were 4258, with an average of 14.43 citations per document. The most cited paper was about an outbreak after open-chest heart surgery. Only 2.45% of 1475 authors wrote >4 papers about M. chimaera, according to Lotka’s law. The US and Switzerland were the countries with the largest production, followed by the UK, Germany and Italy. The three most frequent words were “cardiac-surgery”, “outbreak”, and “valve”. Before 2016, Keywords related to cardiac-surgery, heater-cooler units and outbreaks were totally absent. The most relevant sources were “Journal of Hospital Infection” and “Clinical Infectious Diseases”. Conclusions: Our study sheds light on M. chimaera as a pathogen involved in a worldwide alert due to high number of cardiothoracic surgical procedures requiring HCUs. It would be advisable to plan interventions to reduce its burden.