Recognising and managing non-tuberculous mycobacterial pulmonary disease
Intended for healthcare professionals

Recognising and managing non-tuberculous mycobacterial pulmonary disease

Ana Mincheva TB nurse specialist, North Central London TB Service, Whittington NHS Health Trust, London, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To learn how to recognise and manage non-tuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) pulmonary disease

  • To understand the effects on patients of treatment for NTM pulmonary disease

  • To contribute towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD (UK readers)

  • To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)

Non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are organisms that live in water systems, soil and vegetation. Humans come into contact with NTM every day, but relatively few people become unwell as a result. In those that do, pulmonary symptoms are the most common effects. The incidence of NTM pulmonary disease (NTM-PD) is increasing worldwide. However, early diagnosis of the infection is challenging and treatment can be unsuccessful. Moreover, the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic are likely to have delayed diagnosis of many cases of NTM-PD.

Patients with NTM-PD have multiple needs, so appropriate person-centred support should be in place. This article explains the epidemiology, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of NTM-PD. It also details the long-term follow-up care and support that healthcare services should provide to patients in the community and emphasises the need for community NTM infection services and NTM nurse specialist roles.

Primary Health Care. 32, 5, 34-42. doi: 10.7748/phc.2022.e1756

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Mincheva A (2022) Recognising and managing non-tuberculous mycobacterial pulmonary disease. Primary Health Care. doi: 10.7748/phc.2022.e1756

Published online: 23 March 2022

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