Related strains of Mycobacterium avium cause disease in children with AIDS and in children with lymphadenitis

J Infect Dis. 2000 Apr;181(4):1298-303. doi: 10.1086/315378. Epub 2000 Apr 7.


Sequence analysis of the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer of 56 Mycobacterium avium complex isolates from pediatric patients with AIDS or lymphadenitis revealed (similar to the situation in adults) that the closely related Mav-B and Mav-A sequevars caused the vast majority of disease. IS1245 restriction fragment-polymorphism analysis and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis revealed sets of isolates with closely related patterns among strains from patients in the Boston area and among isolates from Los Angeles and Miami patients. The finding of related strains that cause disease in epidemiologically unrelated patients is most consistent with one of two hypotheses: (1) a limited subset of M. avium strains is more virulent and therefore more likely to cause disease in humans, or (2) pathogenic strains are more prevalent in the environment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / microbiology*
  • Boston
  • Child
  • DNA, Ribosomal / chemistry
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
  • Florida
  • Humans
  • Los Angeles
  • Lymphadenitis / microbiology*
  • Mycobacterium avium Complex / classification*
  • Mycobacterium avium Complex / genetics
  • Mycobacterium avium Complex / isolation & purification
  • Mycobacterium avium Complex / pathogenicity
  • Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare Infection / microbiology*
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Water Microbiology*
  • Water Supply


  • DNA, Ribosomal