Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Disease: An Introduction and Historical Perspective

  • David E. GriffithEmail author
Part of the Respiratory Medicine book series (RM)


The serious study of nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) disease is a recent development. Although these organisms were identified more than a century ago, it is only within the last few decades that a full appreciation of their importance as human pathogens has become evident. To a large extent, that emergence has been a consequence of new and evolving diagnostic and microbiologic technologies. Progress has also been made in the realm of NTM therapeutics, but it has unfortunately not kept pace with clinical and laboratory advances. Clinicians are all too aware of the obstacles to effective treatment of NTM disease and the limitations of current NTM therapy. Perhaps the greatest challenge is discovering and overcoming the many mechanisms of antibiotic resistance possessed by NTM. There has been remarkable progress in the diagnosis and management of NTM disease in a relatively short period of time with the promise of an accelerated pace for even more significant developments in the near future.


Nontuberculous mycobacteria Diagnosis Treatment History 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Texas Health Science CenterTylerUSA

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