Nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) infections are caused by a group of microorganisms known by several different names including MOTT (mycobacteria other than tuberculosis), atypical mycobacteria, and environmental mycobacteria (unlike TB which is spread from person to person, these organisms are usually acquired from water or soil).
These infections are often difficult to diagnose because the organisms must be cultured in the laboratory on special media. They are also challenging to treat because they require multiple antibiotics for extended periods, usually months to years. In some cases surgery may be required to control or cure the infection. The NTM most frequently causes lung infections but can involve soft tissues, bones or lymph nodes. Species commonly seen in the U.S. include: M. avium, M. intracellulare, MAC, M. chelonae, M. abscessus, M. fortuitum, M. terrae, M. xenopi, M. simiae, M. marinum, M. szulgai, and M. malmoense.
The doctors at National Jewish Health are internationally recognized experts in the diagnosis and care of patients with these infections. Our service provides a comprehensive evaluation and treatment for these cases. Patients may be evaluated as outpatients, or if evaluation and treatment is required, patients will be cared for in our state-of-the-art facility housed on the National Jewish Health campus.
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