Understanding NTM-PD Infections and Their Impact

NTM-PD, also known as NTM lung disease, is caused by bacteria naturally found in soil, dust, and water. These bacteria belong to the Mycobacterium family, excluding those that cause tuberculosis and leprosy. The most common cause of NTM infections is the Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC).[2]

NTM infections can affect various parts of the body, most commonly the lungs, but also the skin, bones, lymph nodes, and other organs. Symptoms depend on the site of infection and may include cough, weight loss, fever, night sweats, and shortness of breath. The elderly and individuals who are immunocompromised or have chronic lung diseases, such as Cystic Fibrosis or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), are at higher risk of NTM infection[1], as are patients with bronchiectasis for whom it is estimated that up to 50% may also have active NTM pulmonary disease.

NTM is a growing global health concern with significant unmet medical needs. Although rare, the incidence of NTM pulmonary disease is increasing worldwide. It is estimated that approximately 130,000 patients suffer from NTM in the U.S. and Europe, a figure that is growing at a rate of 8% annually. Patients with NTM lung disease experience progressive symptoms, lung damage, and reduced quality of life due to chronic symptoms and impaired lung function. NTM infections can occur after surgery, trauma, injections, or exposure to contaminated water. Prevention involves effective water management programs in healthcare facilities, and treatment typically requires consultation with infectious disease or pulmonary specialists. Patients currently have limited treatment options for NTM lung disease.

Treatment of NTM pulmonary disease (PD) requires prolonged therapy (continuing for approximately 12 to 24 months) with a combination of drugs approved for other infections and is frequently complicated by tolerability and/or toxicity issues. There are currently no oral antibiotics specifically approved for use to treat NTM pulmonary disease. NTM is also associated with high healthcare costs and high mortality.

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References
  1. CDC About Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) Infections | NTM | CDC
  2. Cleveland Clinic Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) Infection: Overview (clevelandclinic.org)