Successful treatment of disseminated mycobacterium simiae infection in AIDS patients

Asher Barzilai, Bina Rubinovich, Dianna Blank-Porat, Ethan Rubinstein, Nathan Keller, Itzhak Levi

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23 Scopus citations


Mycobacterium simiae is rarely isolated in clinical settings of non-HIV-infected patients. Isolation of M. simiae from clinical specimens in clusters has been limited to some parts of the world that include Israel, Cuba and the southern USA, mainly Texas. Only 8 patients with HIV and disseminated M. simiae infection have been previously described in the English literature. Successful treatment of disseminated M. simiae infection has never been reported and 6 of the cases have died within 8 months of diagnosis. We reviewed retrospectively the medical records of HIV-infected patients who had positive blood or bone marrow cultures for M. simiae at the Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel, between January 1992 and December 1996. A case of disseminated M. simiae infection was defined as isolation of M. simiae in blood or bone marrow culture in an HIV-infected patient, with a compatible, otherwise unexplained, systemic disease. Mycobacterium simiae was isolated in blood and/or bone marrow cultures from 3 HIV-infected patients during the last 5 y. We describe the first successful treatment in AIDS patients with disseminated M. simiae infection. The patients are alive and well 20 months after instituting a combination of 3 antimycobacterial agents, clarithromycin, ethambutol and ciprofloxacin and intensive antiretroviral therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-146
Number of pages4
JournalScandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998


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