Non-tuberculous mycobacteria - An overview.

Paramasivan, C.N.; Daniel Herbert; Prabhakar, R.

Lung India; 1986; 4; 7-12.

There have been sporadic reports of non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) causing disease in the early part of this century. Isolation of NTM from patients with pulmonary disease became more common after sputum culture for the diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis had become routine by the 1950s. Since then important studies have been made in the taxonomy and identification of non-tuberculous mycobacteria, as well as clarifying their role as human pathogens and importance in human pulmonary disease. It is now well established that mycobateria other than mammalian tubercle bacilli and M. leprae are important human pathogens.

Various names have been suggested for this group of organisms such as para-tubercle bacilli, pseudo-tubercle bacilli, unclassified mycobacteria, anonymous mycobacteria, atypical mycobacteria, opportunistic mycobacteria, tuberculoid mycobacteria and mycobacteria other than tubercle bacilli (MOTT). The name non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), now used by the International Working Group on Mycobacterial Taxonomy (IWGMT) is gradually gaining acceptance among mycobacteriologists.


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