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Intern Med. 2013;52(16):1793-803. Epub 2012 Mar 1.

Depression of local cell-mediated immunity and histological characteristics of disseminated AIDS-related Mycobacterium avium infection after the initiation of antiretroviral therapy.

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  • 1Department of Infectious, Respiratory, and Digestive Medicine, Control and Prevention of Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus, Japan.



The aim of the present study was to examine the immunohistological characteristics of disseminated Mycobacterium avium infection after the initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).


We histologically investigated five autopsied AIDS patients with systemic M. avium infection.


The inflammatory cell composition in the affected tissues was assessed using immunohistochemistry. The celiac lymph nodes and intestinal canal were the most commonly involved organs in the AIDS cases. The most common histological feature was unstructured aggregation of histiocytes. Immunohistochemistry revealed depression of CD4(+), CD8(+) and CD57(+) cells in the gut lamina propria and mesenteric lymph nodes.


These findings suggest that local cell-mediated immunity is depressed in affected tissues and that the primary histological feature is poor organization of granulomas in mycobacterial lesions, despite the administration of adequate ART.

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