> Infectious Diseases
Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM ) are a
family of bacteria which is distributed throughout
the environment, with isolates recovered from
freshwater lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, salt water,
brackish water, water pipes, showers, bathtubs,
hot tubs, and “soaking pans” in nail salons. In
persons with pre-existing lung disorders, inhaled
nontuberculous mycobacteria may find a site
where they can prosper and cause progressive
lung disease, referred to as Nontuberculous
Mycobacteria (NTM ) pulmonary disease.
Nontuberculous mycobacteria, represent a "burgeoning medical challenge" that may cause significantly greater healthcare spending and patient suffering in the United States and Canada than does tuberculosis (TB). 1 Although TB rates are decreasing in historically low numbers in North American, NTM cases are rising.1
1 Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Disease Deemed "Burgeoning Medical Challenge." National Jewish Health Web site. http://www.nationaljewish.org/about/mediacenter/pressreleases/2008/ntm-burgeoning-medical-challenge.aspx. Published November 14, 2008. Accessed February 16, 2010
Since the introduction of effective chemotherapy, many changes have come about in the management of tuberculosis. Most important have been the shift from sanatoria based to general hospital and clinic based treatment and the knowledge that active disease can reliably be prevented among those who are latently infected. With the development of effective drugs for TB, with the significant advances in bacteriology, and with increased knowledge about the treatment of latent TB infection, the approach to tuberculosis control has become increasingly sophisticated.
The purpose of this course is to present this body of knowledge to general internists, public health workers, infectious diseases and chest specialists, registered nurses and other healthcare providers who will be responsible for the management and care of tuberculosis.