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Mycobacterial Disease and Chronic Respiratory Infections

Nontuberculous mycobacterial lung diseases are chronic infections that can be difficult to successfully diagnose and treat. We have clinicians who are experts in identifying, diagnosing and treating these illnesses.

Understanding the Disease

Nontuberculous mycobacterial diseases are often caused by bacteria found in water and soil. These diseases aren't contagious and can't be spread from person-to-person.

While most people won't be affected by the bacteria, some may develop serious infections.

Anyone can develop nontuberculous mycobacterial infection, but experts agree that women and people with underlying lung disease are more prone to developing these infections.

Thorough Evaluation and an Accurate Diagnosis

Nontuberculous mycobacterial diseases can be difficult to diagnose. You'll experience symptoms similar to those of other lung disease and illnesses. Symptoms can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Weight loss without dieting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fever
  • Bloody sputum

If you're suspected of having nontuberculous mycobacterial disease, you may need to undergo a series of testing to receive an accurate diagnosis. Testing is individualized, and could include:

  • Lab work
  • CT scan
  • Bronchoscopy

It's very important to correctly diagnose nontuberculous mycobacterial disease. Because the bacteria are so common in our environment, they are often found by accident in lung samples, even if there is no true infection. It's important for pulmonologists to determine if there is a true mycobacterial infection, as these diseases are typically treated with very powerful antibiotics. An incorrect diagnosis could unnecessarily expose you to toxic medicines.

In This Section

Mycobacterial Disease and Chronic Respiratory Infections Team

Meet our specialists who treat mycobacterial disease and chronic respiratory infections.

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