Mycobacterium avium intracellulare

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Mycobacterium avium subsp. intracellulare
Mycobacterium avium subsp. intracellulare bacteria in lymph tissue.
Mycobacterium avium subsp. intracellulare bacteria in lymph tissue.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Actinobacteria
Order: Actinomycetales
Family: Mycobacteriaceae
Genus: Mycobacterium
Species: M. avium
Subspecies: M. a. intracellulare

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Synonyms and key words: MAI

Overview

Mycobacterium avium intracellulare is an atypical mycobacterial infection which can occur in the later stages of AIDS. It can also affect women who do not have AIDS and usually first presents as a persistent cough.

Pathophysiology

MAI is a saprotrophic organism that is present in soil and water, entry is usually via the GI tract but also can be via the lungs.

Clinical manifestations

It causes fevers, diarrhoea, malabsorption and anorexia and it can disseminate to the bone marrow.

Treatment

Therapy for MAI presents a challenge as it is typically resistant to standard mycobacterial therapies. It is normally treated with a series of 3 antibiotics for a period of at least 6 months.

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