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Mycobacterium avium complex mac symptoms

Symptoms of the following disorders can be similar to those of nontuberculous mycobacterial lung disease. Comparisons may be useful for a differential diagnosis.

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There are many conditions that are associated with the same nonspecific symptoms that can characterize NTM lung disease. Such conditions include recurrent aspiration pneumonitis, bronchiectasis, tuberculosis, lung cancer, aspergillosis, and fungal diseases such as blastomycosis, histoplasmosis, and coccidioidomycosis. For more information on these disorders, choose the specific disorder name as your search term in the Rare Disease Database. A diagnosis of nontuberculous mycobacterial lung disease is based upon identification of characteristic symptoms, a detailed patient history, a thorough clinical evaluation and a variety of specialized tests.

However, the diagnosis can be challenging because the characteristic signs and symptoms are highly variable and nonspecific. A diagnosis of NTM includes ruling out other diseases such as tuberculosis or lung cancer. The criteria used are a best fit for infection with Mycobacterium avium complex, Mycobacterium kansasii, and Mycobacterium abscessus.

These guidelines require that an affected individual meet clinical, radiographic, and microbiologic criteria to establish a diagnosis of NTM lung disease:. X-ray studies e. During CT scanning, a computer and x-rays are used to create a film showing cross-sectional images of certain tissues structures such as lung tissue. HRCT gives sharper, more detailed pictures of the lungs than traditional x-rays or conventional CT scanning.

A sputum culture is a test that can detect and identify bacteria that are infecting the lungs and various breathing passageways airways. Sputum is a thick fluid produced within the lungs and breathing passageways of the respiratory tract, usually in response to infection or inflammation. Sputum is mainly made up of mucus and saliva. A sputum culture can be obtained directly from affected individuals by having them cough up a sample.

A sputum sample can also be obtained through bronchoscopy. During bronchoscopy, a thin, flexible tube bronchoscope is inserted through the nose or mouth, allowing a physician to examine the throat, larynx, trachea and lower airways. During this procedure, a physician can also obtain a bronchoalveolar lavage BAL , which is a deeper fluid sample from the alveoli lung sacs for examination.

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A bronchoscopy may be necessary for diagnosis in individuals who are unable to produce an adequate sputum sample. During a lung biopsy, a small sample of affected lung tissue is surgically cut out, removed and studied under a microscope. In most cases, a lung biopsy is not necessary for a diagnosis of NTM infection. NTM infections have traditionally been classified into rapidly growing and slowly growing mycobacteria. The slowly growing mycobacteria, which include the most common species, MAC, typically take days to grow in a liquid medium, and weeks to grow in solid medium.

A liquid or solid medium is a liquid or gel designed to support the growth of microorganisms like bacteria.

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Once growth is evident, nucleic acid probes can be performed for rapid identification of M. Treatment The decision to begin treatment for NTM infection is a challenging and difficult one. Treatment with a combination of antibiotic drugs drug regimen is the mainstay of therapy for these diseases.

However, these drugs carry certain risks side effects and are often poorly tolerated, have a high cost, and require individuals to remain on the medications for a lengthy period of time. These risks must be weighed against the potential benefits for each individual based upon the severity of their disease and specific symptoms that are present.

If a decision is made not to treat, then an affected individual should be closely monitored to promptly detect any progression of the infection.


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Specific drug regimens will vary depending upon multiple factors including the susceptibility of the bacterial species in question to specific drugs as well as unique factors regarding the affected individual age, overall health, specific symptoms, personal preference, and interactions with other medications. Treatment should be continued for 12 months after sputum cultures change from positive for infection to negative. These guidelines detail specific drug regimens including frequency, duration and dosage, monitoring for drug toxicity, and prophylactic treatment recommendations.

The treatment regimens vary by species with the most important distinction being how to treat slow-growing versus rapid-growing NTM infection. In specific cases such as in individuals with localized bronchiectasis, cavitary disease, or coughing up blood that does not improve with treatment refractory hemoptysis , surgical removal of the affected tissue may be recommended. However, determining the best candidates and timing for surgical therapy is unknown. There are additional measures that can be taken to help treat individuals with NTM infection. Various techniques that help to expel mucus from the lungs may be recommended for affected individuals.

Such techniques include sterile, extra-salty water delivered as a mist nebulized hypertonic saline , physical therapy of the chest, devices that loosen mucus in the airways flutter devices, high frequency chest wall oscillation , a specific way of coughing that helps bring up mucus huff cough , and aerobic exercise. Proper nutrition and weight maintenance are also important. In , Arikayce amikacin liposome inhalation suspension was approved for the treatment of lung disease caused by Mycobacterium avium complex MAC bacteria in a limited population of patients with the disease who do not respond to conventional treatment.

Arikayce is manufactured by Insmed, Inc. There are steps that affected individuals can take to lessen the chance of re-infection from the environment including the avoidance of hot-tubs, the avoidance of using tap water in humidifiers and CPAP machines, taking care in regard to environmental exposure to tap water and soil, and the use of specialized filtration systems in household plumbing.

Since it is unknown whether individuals acquire NTM through inhalation for example, from the shower spray or from ingestion of tap water and subsequent reflux and aspiration of NTM-infected water into the lungs, consideration may be given to minimizing time spent in the shower and to boiling tap water prior to drinking. Information on current clinical trials is posted on the Internet at www.

All studies receiving U. Toll-free: TTY: Email: prpl cc. For information about clinical trials sponsored by private sources, in the main, contact: www. Mycobacterium avium complex pulmonary disease: new epidemiology and management concepts.

Nontuberculous Mycobacterial Lung Disease - NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders)

Curr Opin Infect Dis. Thorax ;ii1—ii Pathogenesis and risk factors for nontuberculous mycobacterial lung disease.

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Clin Chest Med. Treatment of slowly growing mycobacteria.

Reves R, Schluger NW. Update in tuberculosis and nontuberculous mycobacterial infections Nontuberculous mycobacterial pulmonary infections. J Thorac Dis. Management of nontuberculous mycobacterial infection in the elderly. Eur J Intern Med. Patients with nontuberculus mycobacterial lung disease exhibit unique body and immune phenotypes. Non-tuberculous mycobacterial diseases presenting as solitary pulmonary nodules. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. Glassroth J. Pulmonary disease due to nontuberculous mycobacteria.

Michael Iseman, MD - Nontuberculous Mycobacteria - An historical perspective

Lung disease due to the more common nontuberculous mycobacteria. The National Organization for Rare Disorders. The content of the website and databases of the National Organization for Rare Disorders NORD is copyrighted and may not be reproduced, copied, downloaded or disseminated, in any way, for any commercial or public purpose, without prior written authorization and approval from NORD. There is concern that use of monotherapy will encourage the emergence of resistance, but in one trial, although the combination of azithromycin and rifabutin was found to be superior to both monotherapies, it was less well tolerated and increased the complexity of potential drug interactions and cost.

Treatment The aim of treatment is to alleviate symptoms and this has been associated with reductions in MAC bacteraemia. Last updated: October 29, Opportunistic infections. Site of disease - Potential opportunistic of disease. Respiratory disease. Pneumonia due to Pneumocystis carinii PCP. Pulmonary tuberculosis. Histoplasmosis and coccidioidomycosis. Neurological disorders. Cryptococcal meningitis. Opthalmological complications. Febrile illness.


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  • Mycobacterium Avium Complex (MAC).
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Bacterial infections. Mycobacterium avium complex MAC. Isospora belli infection. Microsporidiosis Microspora. Mucocutaneous and cutaneous eruptions. Oral and oesophageal candidiasis.