What are the cutaneous manifestations of mycobacterial infections in HIV disease?

Updated: Mar 26, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
  • Print


Mycobacterium tuberculosis; M avium-intracellulare complex (MAC); and, rarely, M kansasii may present as acneiform papules and indurated crusted plaques.

MAC, a common opportunistic pathogen among patients with AIDS, usually causes disseminated disease involving the lungs, lymph nodes, and gastrointestinal tract. Primary cutaneous infections with MAC are extremely rare; most cutaneous lesions are caused by dissemination. Cutaneous manifestations thus far reported include the following:

  • Scaling plaques

  • Crusted ulcers

  • Ecthymalike lesions

  • Verrucous ulcers

  • Inflammatory nodules

  • Panniculitis

  • Pustular lesions

  • Draining sinuses

Localized skin involvement resembling sporotrichosis is unusual. Primary cutaneous MAC infection manifesting as sporotrichosislike lesions was described in a patient with AIDS. [38]

The possibility of coinfections, which may be multiple, should be kept in mind. Coinfection with B quintana, MAC, and CMV has been reported in an AIDS patient. [39]

In patients with HIV, M haemophilum can also present as violaceous draining nodules and superficial ulcers on the extremities, trunk, head, and genitalia.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!