Mycobacteria which are ubiquitous in nature residing in various environmental niche having pathogenic, non-pathogenic and zoonotic characters. The term Non Tuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) and Mycobacteria Other Than Tuberculosis (MOTT) originated from the concept that they comprise of Mycobacterium spp.
which are not members of Mycobacterium tuberculosis
complex. Most reports are from developed countries that have low rates of TB. However, in countries with high burden of TB, including India, NTM pulmonary disease often goes unrecognized and is misdiagnosed as pulmonary TB because clinical presentation of NTM and Mycobacterium tuberculosis
(MTB) diseases are indistinguishable from each other. Not everyone with NTM pulmonary disease has symptoms, but most have a combination of lung and other symptoms. Non Ttuberculos Mycobacteria were isolated from tap water, industrial polluted water, sewage, domestic garbage and drainage water and also from drinking water. M. marinum, M. ulcerans and M. vaccae
have been reported to cause skin infections. M. fortuitum, M. gordonae, and M. chelonae
were also described as potential fish pathogens causing ulceration in skin, parenchimal tissue and internal organs of ornamental and food fishes. With respect to environmental exposures to water and soil aerosols, very few individual exposures have been identified, but new analytic approaches have highlighted the important of climatic factors such as warm, humid environments with high atmospheric vapour pressure as contributing to population risk. Additional research is needed to more specifically identify additional climatic and soil factors, and their contribution to microbial growth. Further, the interaction of human populations with these environments will be key to understanding the interaction of host and environmental factors.