What Immunological Defects Predispose to Non-tuberculosis Mycobacterial Infections?

  • Esmaeil Mortaz Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran AND Division of Pharmacology, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Science, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands AND Clinical Tuberculosis and Epidemiology Research Center, National Research Institute for Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (NRITLD), Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Milad Moloudizargari Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Mohammad Varahram Mycobacteriology Research Center, National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (NRITLD), Masih Daneshvari Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Mehrnaz Movassaghi Clinical Tuberculosis and Epidemiology Research Center, National Research Institute for Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (NRITLD), Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Johan Garssen Division of Pharmacology, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Science, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands AND Nutricia Research Centre for Specialized Nutrition, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Mehdi Kazempour Dizagie Mycobacteriology Research Center, National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (NRITLD), Masih Daneshvari Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Mehdi Mirsaeidi Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy, Department of Medicine, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, USA
  • Ian M Adcock Cell and Molecular Biology Group, Airways Disease Section, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, UK
Keywords: Immunodeficiency, Interferon, Interleukin-12, Lung disease, Non-tuberculous mycobacteria


Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are categorized as one of the large and diverse groups of environmental organisms which are abundant in water and soil.  NTM cause a variety of diseases in humans that mainly affect the lung. A predisposition to pulmonary NTM is evident in patients with parenchymal structural diseases including bronchiectasis, emphysema, tuberculosis (TB), cystic fibrosis (CF), rheumatologic lung diseases and other chronic diseases with pulmonary manifestations. Lung infections are not the only consequences of being infected by NTM as they can also infect skin and soft tissue and may also cause lymphadenitis (predominantly in young children) and disseminated disease in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients or those with severely compromised immune system. NTM are also found in many subjects without any known risk factors.  Although the recent advances in imaging and microbiologic techniques including gene sequencing have provided a better view of the problems caused by NTM and has enhanced our understanding of the disease, many uncertainties regarding the immunologic response to NTM still exist. There is also limited data on the immunogenetics of NTM infection. Here, the authors reviewed the main immunogenetic defects as well as other immunological conditions which are associated with an increased the risk of NTM infections.


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How to Cite
Mortaz E, Moloudizargari M, Varahram M, Movassaghi M, Garssen J, Kazempour Dizagie M, Mirsaeidi M, Adcock I. What Immunological Defects Predispose to Non-tuberculosis Mycobacterial Infections?. ijaai. 17(2):100-9.
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