Nontuberculous mycobacteria ntm are organisms naturally found in soil and water ntm infections can become chronic and require ongoing treatment some patients however do not require treatment for their less severe infections. Pulmonary infections due to nontuberculous mycobacteria ntm are increasingly recognized worldwide although over 150 different species of ntm have been described pulmonary infections are most commonly due to mycobacterium avium complex mac mycobacterium kansasii and mycobacterium abscessus . The term nontuberculous mycobacteria ntm generally refers to mycobacteria other than the mycobacterium tuberculosis complex and m leprae ntm are ubiquitous in the environment including household water natural water sources and soil 2 . In north america the incidence of nontuberculous mycobacterial lung disease is rising particularly among the elderly generally ntm infection is more common in caucasians asians and individuals with a compromised immune system
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