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Mycobacterial infection in patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus.
  1. M Helbert,
  2. D Robinson,
  3. D Buchanan,
  4. T Hellyer,
  5. M McCarthy,
  6. I Brown,
  7. A J Pinching,
  8. D M Mitchell
  1. Department of Clinical Immunology, St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London.


    Of 207 homosexual or bisexual patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), 24 with the AIDS related complex, and 39 with asymptomatic HIV infection, 32 patients were found to have mycobacterial infection. Mycobacterium tuberculosis was found in 13 patients with AIDS and in two with the AIDS related complex. M avium-intracellulare was found in 15 patients with AIDS and was disseminated in 12. One patient was infected with M kansasii and one with M ulcerans. Invasive procedures were frequently required to obtain positive bacteriological results. Subclinical carriage of M avium-intracellulare and other mycobacteria thought to be nonpathogenic was common in patients seronegative for the human immunodeficiency virus and at all stages of human immunodeficiency virus infection. All but one isolate of M tuberculosis were fully sensitive to standard antimycobacterial antibiotics. Response to treatment was usually rapid. M avium-intracellulare isolates were all resistant to first line agents in vitro, and antibiotics such as ansamycin and amikacin were required to obtain a clinical response.

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