Non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTMs) are ubiquitous and opportunistic emerging bacteria with the potential to colonize and eventually infect either immunocompromised or immunocompetent individuals. In the last three decades, the prevalence of disease caused by NTMs has increased in several countries. The increased prevalence of NTM infection can be explained by an ageing population with rising comorbidities, HIV infection, the common use of immunosuppressive drugs, and improved diagnostic methods. The aim of this review is to demonstrate the clinical relevance of NTMs in children, describing their features and manifestations, diagnostic tools, and therapeutic approaches. We collected data from the literature about NTM infections in young patients over the past five years (2014–2019) using the keywords “non-tuberculous”, “mycobacteria”, “paediatric”, “NTM”, “cystic fibrosis”, and “children”. Recent literature points out that NTMs are ubiquitous, with several species including both those that are pathogens for humans and those that are not. This means that, if a mycobacterium is isolated from a patient’s specimen, we have to distinguish between a simple colonization and an NTM-related disease. The start of treatment depends on many factors that are necessary to consider, such as clinical and imaging features, patient comorbidity and immunocompetence, drug adverse effects, and compliance with a very long therapy that can last many months. Due to the increasing prevalence and clinical relevance of NTMs, guidelines for their optimal management, especially in the presence of chronic underlying disease, are urgently needed.
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