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Int J Mycobacteriol. 2019 Jan-Mar;8(1):7-21. doi: 10.4103/ijmy.ijmy_153_18.

Antimycobacterial strategies to evade antimicrobial resistance in the nontuberculous mycobacteria.

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Department of Bacteriology, Northern Ireland Public Health Laboratory, Belfast City Hospital; Centre for Experimental Medicine, Queen's University; School of Biomedical Sciences, Ulster University, Northern Ireland, UK.


The nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) have recently emerged as important bacterial pathogens of both animals and humans. Of particular, concern is the high level of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) displayed by these organisms, which complicates treatment and potential successful outcomes. This review, therefore, wishes to examine novel compounds and approaches to combatting AMR in the NTMs, specifically examining antimycobacterial (NTM) compounds from plants and venoms, as well as examining synergistic and combination effects with other antimicrobials. Novel and modified drugs including new inhaled drugs are examined, as well as the repurposing of existing drugs for antimycobacterial activity. Many of these novel interventions are at various stages of development, from initial concept through to licensed intervention. The challenge remains to translate these interventions from in vitro laboratory models to effective in vivo interactions. When these are realized, then we will have the opportunity of overcoming NTM AMR, to the benefit of medicine, society, and humanity.


Antibiotic resistance; antimicrobial resistance; cystic fibrosis; nitric oxide; non-tuberculous mycobacteria; nontuberculous mycobacteria

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