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Mycobacteria are a type of germ. There are many different kinds. The most common one causes tuberculosis. Another one causes leprosy. Still others cause infections that are called atypical mycobacterial infections. They aren't "typical" because they don't cause tuberculosis. But they can still harm people, especially people with other problems that affect their immunity, such as AIDS.
Sometimes you can have these infections with no symptoms at all. At other times, they can cause lung symptoms similar to tuberculosis:
- Weight loss
- Coughing up blood or mucus
- Weakness or fatigue
- Fever and chills
- Night sweats
- Lack of appetite and weight loss
Medicines can treat these infections, but often more than one is needed to cure the infection.
- Learn about Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) Lung Disease (American Lung Association)
- Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM): Overview (National Jewish Health)
- Symptoms and Diagnosis of Nontuberculous Mycobacterium (NTM) Lung Disease (American Lung Association)
Diagnosis and Tests
- Acid-Fast Bacillus (AFB) Tests (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
- Buruli Ulcer (Mycobacterium ulcerans Infection) (World Health Organization) Also in Spanish
- Leprosy (American Academy of Family Physicians)
- Leprosy (Hansen's Disease) (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)
- Mycobacterium abscessus in Healthcare Settings (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- National Hansen's Disease (Leprosy) Program (Health Resources and Services Administration)
- Leprosy: MedlinePlus Genetics (National Library of Medicine)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Leprosy (National Institutes of Health)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Mycobacterium Infections (National Institutes of Health)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Mycobacterium leprae's Infective Capacity Is Associated with Activation of Genes Involved...
- Article: High-resolution ultrasonography for early diagnosis of neural impairment in seropositive leprosy...
- Article: Bacterial, fungal and parasitic co-infections in leprosy: A scoping review.
- Mycobacterial Infections -- see more articles
- Leprosy (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Mycobacterial culture (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish