At the end of 2017, a British Thoracic Society/Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (BTS/SIGN) collaboration published a new guideline on non-tuberculous mycobacterial pulmonary disease (NTM-PD)1. As its name suggests, this condition affects the lungs as a result of a mycobacterial infection. Most cases of mycobacterial infection are due to tuberculosis, but in an increasing number of cases, the infection is non-tuberculous.
The management of mycobacterial infection is a specialist area. But primary care nurses should have some understanding of it, especially if working with people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). People with COPD and NTM-PD have a poor prognosis so identifying NTM-PD in someone with pre-existing chronic lung disease is imperative.
What is NTM-PD?