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The Emerging Nontuberculous Mycobacteriosis

Call for Papers

Mycobacteria may be grouped in three categories: Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, Mycobacterium leprae, and nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM). Tuberculosis is currently the leading infectious disease killer and its prominence has overshadowed the clinical importance of the rest of the mycobacterial species. Although with a slow trend, tuberculosis mortality rate and incidence are declining. Paradoxically, nontuberculous mycobacterial infections are emerging infectious diseases because they are increasingly isolated from clinical specimens and found responsible for clinical disease. Although NTM infection is generally acquired from environment mycobacteria, recent evidence suggests that patient-to-patient transmission may occur in cystic fibrosis. NTM produce insidious diseases that affect patients for many years and grant long-term antibiotic therapy with a significant risk of treatment failures. Every year new species of mycobacteria are described and they currently comprise more than 170 species. Many of them require specific therapy regimens which demand the development of rapid and accurate methods of identification. Specialists have been becoming more aware of the relevance of these diseases and research needs to be encouraged for the discovery of new tools for detection and treatment of NTM.

This special issue will deal with all aspects of nontuberculous mycobacteria including epidemiology, microbiology, immunology, and therapy. Technological advances, like MALDI-TOFF for species identification or whole genome sequencing for genetic analysis, will allow a better characterization of strains, but several challenges remain to be met. We especially welcome reports that will help to understand the epidemiological and microbiological differences between slow and rapid growers and its influence on clinical outcomes. We also welcome papers that evaluate the susceptibility to NTM in individuals that are either immunocompromised or apparently immunocompetent. Several mycobacteria were previously considered as nonpathogenic but now have been reported as infectious agents in several case reports. It raises the concern that every mycobacterial species could be potentially pathogenic. Articles that address pathogenicity of mycobacteria that are not previously considered as human pathogens are strongly welcomed.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Epidemiology and molecular typing
  • Molecular basis of nontuberculous mycobacterial virulence
  • Immunological response to NTM in susceptible and naturally resistant individuals
  • Emerging and reemerging NTM and their clinical significance
  • Advancements in clinical diagnostic tools and taxonomic identification
  • NTM natural resistance to antibiotics
  • New advances in drug discovery for NTM

Authors can submit their manuscripts through the Manuscript Tracking System at

Submission DeadlineFriday, 4 May 2018
Publication DateSeptember 2018

Papers are published upon acceptance, regardless of the Special Issue publication date.

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