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MAC and TB
Apr 23, 2006

Dear doctor,

What is the difference between Tuberculosis and Micobacterium avium complex?

vatana

Response from Dr. Young

Vatana- Thanks for your post.

A complete description of these two very important diseases is beyond the scope of this forum; briefly, tuberculosis (TB) and Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) are related bacterium called mycobacteria. Both are also called acid fast bacilli (AFB). Both are not uncommon among persons with HIV, MAC is rare in people who are HIV negative. In persons with normal CD4 counts, TB typically causes lung infection, but in patients with low CD4 counts, TB can cause infection in other anatomic sites (brain, lung, abdomen-- for example). MAC in HIV patients with very low CD4 counts is usually disseminated disease (called disseminated MAC, d-MAC)-- often manifested by fever, anemia. Diagnosis of dMAC can be obtained through blood cultures or bone marrow biopsy.

The treatments for both involve months of 3 or 4 antibiotic therapy.

I hope this is a useful start. BY


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