Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health



First Committee Member

Caitlin Pedati

Second Committee Member

Veenu Minhas

Third Committee Member

Christopher Wichman


Background. Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in the U.S., yet not much is known about the prevalence and risk factors. It is thought to be increasing and most commonly found in women and older adults. The objectives of this project were to estimate the burden of NTM in Nebraska and to describe the patterns of NTM infection including location, species, specimen source, and patient demographic characteristics.

Methods. The National Electronic Disease Surveillance System was searched for all NTM infections reported from 2012-2017. Cases were classified as either pulmonary or nonpulmonary and available information was assessed including age, gender, and species type.

Results. 759 cases of NTM infection in Nebraska were identified over the six-year period. The annualized isolation rate was 6.16 cases per 100,000 population. The overall isolation rate decreased over the study period, however, there was an increase in nonpulmonary isolates. Nonpulmonary cases predominated (54%) and Mycobacterium Avium Intracellulare was the most common species identified.

Conclusions. Nonpulmonary NTM may be a more important cause of disease than previously recognized. The differing trends in pulmonary and nonpulmonary NTM isolation indicate a difference in disease and associated risk factors. Further efforts to monitor disease trends and differences in risk factors should be undertaken.

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