Mycobacterium avium complex infections in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome

Ann Intern Med. 1986 Aug;105(2):184-8. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-105-2-184.


Disseminated infection with Mycobacterium avium complex developed in 67 patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) who were followed at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Twenty-nine patients were treated with two or more antimycobacterial drugs for a mean of 6 weeks, and 7 patients received therapy for less than 1 month. Most patients received ansamycin, clofazimine, and ethionamide or ethambutol. Clinical improvement did not occur in treated patients, and microbiologic cure was never obtained. Mycobacterial bacteremia persisted in 24 of 26 treated patients. Colony counts of M. avium complex in sequential blood cultures decreased in 3 patients. Every autopsied patient with M. avium complex infection diagnosed before death, whether treated or not, had disseminated M. avium complex infection at autopsy.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycobacterium avium / drug effects
  • Mycobacterium avium / isolation & purification
  • Sepsis / microbiology
  • Tuberculosis / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis / etiology*
  • Tuberculosis / microbiology


  • Antitubercular Agents