Non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are emerging worldwide as significant causes of chronic pulmonary infection, posing a number of challenges for both clinicians and researchers. While a number of studies worldwide have described an increasing prevalence of NTM pulmonary disease over time, population-based data are relatively sparse and subject to ascertainment bias. Furthermore, the disease is geographically heterogeneous. While some species are commonly implicated worldwide (Mycobacterium avium complex, Mycobacterium abscessus), others (e.g., Mycobacterium malmoense, Mycobacterium xenopi) are regionally important. Thoracic computed tomography, microbiological testing with identification to the species level, and local epidemiology must all be taken into account to accurately diagnose NTM pulmonary disease. A diagnosis of NTM pulmonary disease does not necessarily imply that treatment is required; a patient-centered approach is essential. When treatment is required, multidrug therapy based on appropriate susceptibility testing for the species in question should be used. New diagnostic and therapeutic modalities are needed to optimize the management of these complicated infections.
Keywords: Epidemiology; Immunocompetent; Lung diseases; Non-tuberculous mycobacteria; Therapy.
Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.