If It Isn't Something, It's Something Else ...

Authors: David E. Griffith, MD


Disseminated disease due to nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) is among the most severe infections in persons with advanced HIV infection. The overwhelming majority (>90%) of these infections are caused by Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC).1–6 Disseminated disease due to MAC occurs only in persons who are severely immunocompromised with an average CD4+ T-cell count at presentation less than 25 cells/μL.3,4 Untreated, disseminated MAC is associated with very high mortality. In one study from the preantiretroviral era, only 13% of AIDS patients diagnosed with disseminated MAC survived one year without treatment.7

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