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Non-Tuberculosis Mycobacterial Infections


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Mycobacteria are a type of bacteria that are found throughout our environment. While there are hundreds of types of mycobacteria, only about 10 types cause infections in humans.

These bacteria typically only cause respiratory infections in people who have weakened lungs, such as people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) or cystic fibrosis.

Non-tuberculosis mycobacteria infections can be long-term infections lasting months or years. They cause symptoms like coughing, weight loss, and fatigue.


Computed Tomography (CT) Scan
A CT scan, a type of X-ray, can reveal bacteria or infection in your lungs.

Sputum Testing
Doctors can examine mucus samples to identify any bacteria causing a respiratory infection. Doctors collect sputum by swabbing the inside of your mouth or throat with a cotton swab.

Breathing Tests
Doctors use breathing tests to monitor your infection and see if treatments are helping you.


Antibiotic medications may kill mycobacteria, but can take months to effectively stop the infection. These medicines might only be used if your infection is causing symptoms like fever.

Physical Therapy
Physical therapy can help you cough up mucus and bacteria. Physical therapists can use exercises, devices that loosen mucus in the chest, or other techniques to help you cough.

Nebulizers produce a sterile saline mist that can help loosen up mucus in the lungs so you can more easily cough up mucus.

Why Choose UHealth?

Advanced, specialized care to fight infections. From the latest diagnostic techniques to the newest evidence-based medicines, our infectious disease physicians offer specialized care for many infectious diseases including HIV, cytomegalovirus, fungal infections, mycobacterial infections, and more. We create personalized treatment plans based on the cause of your infection and your health to prevent and fight bacterial, fungal, and viral infections. You’ll have access to expert physicians, more treatment options, and supportive care that focuses on your needs.

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