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M. avium complex
Mar 5, 2001

My 2 year old nephew had an enlarged lymph node in his neck that was excised a few weeks ago. The culture grew M. avium- he will be seen by an infectious disease MD next. Upon looking up this bacterium, it seems to be linked with HIV in almost every article. Why is this? Also, how infectious is it? Thank you for your consideration.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

Atypical mycobacterial infections-- like M. avium-- are actually more common in children than in adults and is typically found in a neck node. In normal children this infection has nothing to do with HIV. It is not contagious, so he can't give it to anyone else. M. avium is a common germ in soil and water, and it is most likely picked up from the environment. The treatment is just what your nephew had: excision.


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