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Common Species

The table below identifies several different NTM species and provides a brief description of each.



M.avium-intracellulare  complex (MAC)

MAC has become one of the most common infections in patients with AIDS; often in the lungs and disseminated throughout the body; found widely around the world

M. kansasii

Most frequently causes lung infections; tap water is the likely reservoir

M. abscessus complex

May cause skin, pulmonary, soft tissue or bony disease

M. chelonae

Most commonly causes skin, bone or soft tissue infections.

M. fortuitum

Most commonly causes skin, bone or soft tissue infections, and rarely causes lung disease

M. haemophilum

Skin lesions, cervical adenitis and joint infections. Occasionally causes disseminated infection in immunosuppressed patients.

M. scrofulaceum

May cause cervical adenitis, especially in children. Also skin infections, pulmonary infections and disseminated infections.  This organism is not commonly isolated.

M. marinum

Found in fresh and salt water, aquariums and swimming pools; infects through breaks in the skin and may cause persistent sores. Causes “swimming pool granuloma” or “fish tank granuloma”.

M. ulcerans

Endemic in the tropics; skin infection can result in a large lesion called a Buruli ulcer or Daintree ulcer or Bairnsdale ulcer; worldwide, the 3rd most common mycobacterial infection in healthy people

M. leprae and M. lapromatosis

As the causative agent of leprosy, it infects mucous membranes and cool areas such as skin; causes nerve damage and numbness and skin nodules; can lead to skin damage and infection

Last Review Date: June 7, 2017