Serum concentrations of clarithromycin and rifampicin in pulmonary Mycobacterium avium complex disease: long-term changes due to drug interactions and their association with clinical outcomes.
While the prevalence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis continues to decline in the developed world, the same cannot be said for non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM). These organisms are increasing in incidence and prevalence throughout the world. This is probably because of a combination of increased exposure, improved diagnostic methods and an increase in the prevalence of risk factors that predispose individuals to infection. Considerable confusion can arise in determining in the wide range of species whether an isolated NTM is in fact a contaminant or a pathogenic organism when isolated in sputum or bronchoalveolar lavage. This confusion combined with increasing requests for advice on the treatment of disease has led to the development of guidelines to assist the clinician in diagnosing and treating infection accurately.