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Species Distribution in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Related Mycobacterial Infections: Implications for Selection of Initial Treatment

Val Montessori, Peter Phillips, Julio Montaner, Lawrence Haley, Kevin Craib, Elaine Bessuille and William Black
Clinical Infectious Diseases
Vol. 22, No. 6 (Jun., 1996), pp. 989-992
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4459478
Page Count: 4
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Species Distribution in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Related Mycobacterial Infections: Implications for Selection of Initial Treatment
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Abstract

Management of mycobacterial infection is species specific; however, treatment is prompted by positive smears or cultures, often several weeks before species identification. The objective of this study was to determine the species distribution of mycobacterial isolates from various body sites in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). All mycobacterial isolates recovered at St. Paul's Hospital (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) from April 1989 to March 1993 were reviewed. Among 357 HIV-positive patients with mycobacterial infections, 64% (96) of the sputum isolates were Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC), 18% were Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and 17% were Mycobacterium kansasii. Lymph node involvement (25 patients) was due to either MAC (72%) or M. tuberculosis (24%). Two hundred ninety-eight episodes of mycobacteremia were due to MAC (98%), M. tuberculosis (1%), and M. kansasii (1%). Similarly, cultures of 84 bone marrow biopsy specimens (99%), 19 intestinal biopsy specimens (100%), and 30 stool specimens (97%) yielded predominantly MAC. These results have implications for initial therapy, particularly in areas where rapid methods for species identification are not readily available. Because of considerable geographic variation, development of guidelines for selection of initial therapy depends on regional determination of species distribution in HIV-related mycobacterial infections.

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