Introduction: Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are becoming increasingly important. A growing number of patients with underlying conditions that make them prone to diseases caused by NTM. These diseases include the appearance of new syndromes, such as mesotherapy and other cosmetic-related infections, or diseases that affect patients who are being treated with tumor necrosis factor.
Areas covered: A literature search has been performed for each mycobacterium species. An introduction to the different aspects of the species and the diseases is provided, along with a review of the current therapeutic options; special emphasis is put on new research and discoveries.
Expert opinion: Recognition of the current role of NTM isolates remains the key step in the management of NTM infections. After recognition, treatment must be guided by attending to the isolated species, the specific syndromes, clinical experience and - for some species - the results of in-vitro susceptibility tests. Surgical therapy is also important for some species (Mycobacterium ulcerans, Mycobacterium scrofulaceum) and for localized infections. The treatment of uncommon species is not yet well defined and recent research on resistance mechanisms has described their importance. The role of biofilms is currently of special concern for various specific infections.