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J Infect Dis. 1994 Feb;169(2):289-95.

Mycobacterium avium complex in the respiratory or gastrointestinal tract and the risk of M. avium complex bacteremia in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection.

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San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center, CA 94110.


Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) is frequently isolated from the respiratory or gastrointestinal tract of patients with advanced human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Whether they are at increased risk of MAC bacteremia and whether culture of respiratory tract or stool specimens is useful for predicting bacteremia are unclear. HIV-infected patients with < or = 50 CD4+ cells/microL were prospectively studied. The risk of MAC bacteremia was approximately 60% within 1 year for patients with MAC in either the respiratory or gastrointestinal tract and was greater than for those without MAC in these sites (relative hazards for respiratory and gastrointestinal tract, 2.3 and 6.0; 95% confidence intervals, 1.1-4.6 and 2.5-14.6, respectively). Both respiratory tract specimen and stool culture had poor sensitivities (22% and 20%, respectively) but good positive predictive values (approximately 60%) for bacteremia. Symptomatic HIV-infected patients with MAC in the respiratory or gastrointestinal tract are at a substantial risk for developing MAC bacteremia; culture of these sites has limited usefulness as a screening test.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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