What is nontuberculous mycobacterial lung disease?

Nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung disease is a general term for a group of disorders characterized by exposure to specific bacterial germs known as mycobacteria. These germs are found in the water and soil and are common throughout the environment as a whole. They usually do not cause illness.

How long can you live with NTM lung disease?

The median survival time was 13.0 years (95 % CI 5.9–20.1) for pulmonary MAC but 4.6 years (95 % CI 3.4–5.9) for pulmonary other NTM.

Is nontuberculous mycobacteria fatal?

This could lead to lung failure. But NTM lung disease isn’t usually fatal. It’s less common, but NTM infections can also show up in your skin, bones, lymph nodes, or all over your body.

How do you get nontuberculous mycobacteria?

NTM are environmental organisms that can be found in soil, dust, and water including natural water sources (such as lakes, rivers, and streams) and municipal water sources (such as water that people drink or shower in).

How do you treat nontuberculous mycobacteria?

The standard treatment for most NTM infections is a combination of two or more antibiotics, taken over many months. The specific drugs you are prescribed will depend on the NTM species involved, and whether or not the organism has developed any antibiotic resistance.

What is the second most common nontuberculous Mycobacterium to cause lung disease?

The two most widely known are Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which causes tuberculosis, and Mycobacterium leprae, which causes leprosy. The other Mycobacterium species are classified as “nontuberculous” to clearly set them apart. Unlike the others, NTM lung disease is not known to be contagious.

Can MAC lung disease go away on its own?

Can MAC lung disease be cured? Providers consider MAC lung disease to be cured if sputum cultures show no evidence of infection for 12 months. But the infection can come back, either from a new exposure or lingering bacteria in the lungs, especially since the condition that made you susceptible to MAC is still present.

Is nontuberculous mycobacteria treatable?

An NTM infection is not contagious. It cannot be passed from human to human. Treatment for NTM infections generally requires long-term use of antibiotics, often for 1 to 2 years.

What happens if Mycobacterium goes untreated?

The fibrocavitary (FC) type usually develops in middle-aged male smokers and accompanies apical fibrocavitary lesions. If left untreated, it can progress within a relatively short time period, leading to extensive lung destruction and respiratory failure [1, 5].

How common is nontuberculous mycobacteria?

NTM disease is not contagious. More than 86,000 people are likely living with NTM lung disease in the U.S. Rates appear to be increasing, especially among women and older age groups. Some common symptoms of NTM lung disease are chronic cough, fatigue, weight loss, fever and night sweats.