Isolation of Mycobacterium celatum from patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus

C Piersimoni, E Tortoli, F de Lalla, D Nista, D Donato, S Bornigia, G De Sio
Clinical Infectious Diseases 1997, 24 (2): 144-7
Mycobacterium celatum is a recently described, slowly growing mycobacterium of still undefined clinical relevance. A retrospective study of seven patients was conducted to further elucidate the clinical presentation and prognosis of infection due to M. celatum in patients with AIDS. Three patients had an exclusively pulmonary infection and 3 had disseminated infection (including 2 patients with pulmonary and extrapulmonary involvement), and 1 patient had an exclusively extrapulmonary disease. Fever, weight loss, and productive cough lasting for >2 weeks were the most common symptoms. Chest radiographs showed diffuse or focal interstitial infiltrates without cavitation. The recovery of M. celatum from one patient was definitively determined to be clinically irrelevant. Our findings indicate that M. celatum may cause serious disease in patients with advanced human immunodeficiency virus-related immunosuppression. M. celatum infection appears to be responsive to antimycobacterial chemotherapy; however, further studies are needed to establish the optimal drug combination for this indication.

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