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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume 5, Suppl B, Pages 5B-9B

Epidemiology of Human Disease Caused by Mycobacterium Avium Complex

C Robert Horsburgh

Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Copyright © 1994 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) is a ubiquitous organism. Human infection with this agent causes one of three clinical syndromes: pulmonary disease in persons whose systemic immunity is intact; cervical lymphadenitis, also a disease of normal hosts; and disseminated disease, usually in persons with advanced human immunodeficiency virus infection. While data are sparse, all three clinical syndromes appear to be increasing in frequency. However, the environmental reservoirs and modes of acquisition of MAC have not been elucidated. and strategies for avoidance of MAC infection remain to be defined.