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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
Volume 16, Issue 3, Pages 187-189
Case Report

Cerebral Mycobacterium avium abscesses: Late immune reconstitution syndrome in an HIV-1-infected patient receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy

Claude Fortin and Danielle Rouleau

Département de Microbiologie médicale et Infectiologie, Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada

Received 16 April 2003; Accepted 20 September 2004

Copyright © 2005 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.


A patient who developed an atypical manifestation of Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) infection almost two years after starting effective highly active antiretroviral therapy is described. The recurrence, manifested as brain abscesses in the central nervous system, was an uncommon form of MAC disease usually reported postmortem. An increased CD4 cell count, localized and suppurative infection, and the absence of systemic evidence of infection were consistent with a late immune reconstitution syndrome. The present case report adds to the understanding of MAC disease in HIV-infected patients.