Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) is the most common form of nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM). NTM are bacteria commonly found in the environment. Most people who are exposed to MAC do not develop an infection.
However, some people can develop MAC lung disease which is a serious condition that in some cases can cause severe or even permanent damage to the lungs. People that have a higher risk of developing MAC lung disease include those with an underlying lung disease (i.e. COPD, bronchiectasis, and asthma) or a weakened immune system. MAC does not spread from person to person.