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Information about nontuberculous mycobacteria and related illnesses
What is NTM?
NTM is short for nontuberculous mycobacteria, a lung infection which can be a devastating chronic illness. They are naturally occurring environmental pathogens which are found in soil and water, including tap water. Treatment is not easy, but it is possible, by following the advice of Medical Professionals experienced in NTM treatment. There are more than 180 species of NTM; the most common strains causing disease in Australia are Mycobacterium avium Complex (MAC) and Mycobacterium abscessus.
NTM disease is not as well-known or understood as its mycobacterial cousin Tuberculosis. There are a number of risk factors that may predispose someone to getting NTM lung disease, including bronchiectasis, which is the most common comorbid condition associated with NTM.
Nontuberculous mycobacteria can also cause infections in other areas of the body including skin, soft tissue and joints, bones, and other organs. This is called extrapulmonary or disseminated NTM disease.
The NTM Australia site supplements their site and gives Australian NTM and bronchiectasis patients an online hub to connect with their patient support group leader, Debbie Wooster, and to find additional information on NTM treatment in Australia.