Nontuberculous Mycobacteria Infections

Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are environmental organisms that can be found in soil, dust and water, including untreated fresh and salt water. It can also be found in human-made reservoirs including heater and water cooler devices, swimming pools and showers.

Individuals are continuously exposed to NTMs; however those with existing lung disease, as well as elderly or immunocompromised individuals, are most at risk of developing NTM infections. The most common form of NTM disease in humans is pulmonary infection. Non-pulmonary NTM infections can occur as well, affecting mainly skin, lymph nodes, soft tissue and joints.

NTM infections are not reportable diseases in Ontario, unless they are identified as part of an outbreak.



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Updated 5 April 2023