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The aims of

NTM cause a broad spectrum of diseases including lymphadenitis especially in children and bronchopulmonary infections in patients with predisposing lung disease. Skin and soft tissue infections, osteomyelitis, and disseminated disease in immunocompromised individuals are less frequently diagnosed, however all in all the incidence of this rare disease is increasing and recent data suggest a higher prevalence than tuberculosis in developed countries. We therefore encounter the need to specifically adress research in these patients independantly from tuberculosis, and - in the context of rare diseases as NTM-infections - in multinational cohorts.

The thus has the following goals:

  • to facilitate collaborative research projects for childhood and adult NTM-infections in Europe
  • to improve the understanding of the etiology and pathogenesis of NTM-infections
  • to establish an evidence base for diagnosis and treatment of patients with NTM-infections
  • to provide expert advice for researcher, patients and clinicians through excellence

The Approach - The first meeting

Members of the recently founded Centre of Chronic Immunodeficiency (CCI, Freiburg) initated an epidemiological study and organized a Meeting ( in Freiburg on NTM-Infections in children and adults November 5th - 6th 2009. This meeting was a combination of an Educational & Scientific Workshop, supported or endorsed by different national and international societies (e.g. ESPID, DGI, ESCMID) as well as by the TBnet. Scientists and clinicians involved or interested in NTM-infections from all societies including pneumologists and members of both the TBnet as well as of the European Society of Mycobacteriology were invited to this first meeting. At this meeting the European Researcher Network "" was officially founded. At the TBnet meeting in Vienna September 11th, 2009, the "" had already been endorsed as a branch of the TBnet and - at the Freiburg meeting - the participants and founder of the accepted this affiliation with great majority.

The first proposal

A first epidemiological case control study, that is currently being setup in Freiburg, has been proposed as a new TBnet-proposal that was presented at the TBnet-Vienna Meeting in September 2009. This proposal was also an integral part of the NTM-Meeting in Freiburg. A questionnaire as the base for the database will be developed for both, child and adult NTM-infections.

Future collaborations

The NTM-NET is growing and has members around the world. We would like to invite you to join the NTM-NET if interested in NTM research. Please visit our research page for a first impressions of our growing number of studies. Please contact us at if you have interest in joining a study or the NTM-NET. In order to do so, please go to the NTM-NET Membership page, where the process is explained.