BMJ Case Rep. 2022 Mar 24;15(3):e247396. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2021-247396.
Non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are one of the predominant microbes observed in immunocompromised patients with structural lung disease. Especially in immunocompromised patients, the treating physician needs to be aware of concurrent lung infections with opportunistic pathogens. In this case report we present a man in his 60s with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and bullous emphysema, who was diagnosed with Mycobacterium europaeum but with persistent clinical deterioration despite relevant treatment for NTM. A subsequent bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) revealed elevated Aspergillus galactomannan antigen which, when seen in relation to imaging-findings of cavitating opacities with aggravating surrounding consolidation, raised suspicion of concurrent subacute invasive aspergillosis. Antifungal treatment was initiated but due to intolerable side effects was discontinued after only a few weeks. This case highlights the importance of concurrent testing for pulmonary aspergillosis in NTM patients and vice versa before treatment initiation and if the disease and symptoms are progressing despite relevant treatment.