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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 197950, 8 pages
Review Article

Nontuberculous Mycobacteria in Noncystic Fibrosis Bronchiectasis

1Health Science Department, University of Milan Bicocca, AO San Gerardo, Via Pergolesi 33, 20052 Monza, Italy
2Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, AO San Gerardo, Via Pergolesi 33, 20052 Monza, Italy

Received 3 September 2014; Revised 10 December 2014; Accepted 12 December 2014

Academic Editor: Nikolaos Siafakas

Copyright © 2015 Giulia Bonaiti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


During the past decades, a growing interest has been raised in evaluating nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) in patients with noncystic fibrosis bronchiectasis (NCFBE). This paper reviews several aspects of the correlations between NTM and NCFBE, including pathogenesis, radiological features, diagnosis, and management. Bronchiectasis and NTM lung disease are connected, but which one comes first is still an unresolved question. The rate of NTM lung disease in NCFBE varies through the studies, from 5% to 30%. The most frequent species isolated is MAC. NCFBE patients affected by NTM infection frequently present coinfections, including both other different NTM species and microorganisms, such as P. aeruginosa. Once a diagnosis of NTM disease has been reached, the initiation of therapy is not always mandatory. NTM species isolated, patients’ conditions, and disease severity and its evolution should be considered. Risk factors for disease progression in NCFBE patients with NTM are low body mass index, cavitary disease, consolidations, and macrolide resistance at presentation.