This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung disease is an infectious condition caused by certain types of mycobacteria. Some people with NTM lung disease have no signs or symptoms, while others experience a severe cough, hemoptysis (coughing up blood), shortness of breath, fatigue, fever, night sweats and/or weightloss. Mycobacteria are found naturally in soil and water. Most people who are exposed to these bacteria do not become sick. However, people who have a weakened immune system or other health conditions (i.e. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchiectasis, pneumoconiosis, cystic fibrosis, and previous tuberculosis) have an elevated risk of developing NTM lung disease. The condition is generally treated with a combination of antibiotics which is often continued until certain tests have been negative for 12 months. In some cases, surgery may be recommended if lung tissue is damaged.
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