What is Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC)?

Updated: Jul 23, 2019
  • Author: Ethan E Emmons, MD; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) infection deserves special mention. It has a propensity to occur in the setting of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection as well as in hosts who are immunocompetent. [18]

MAC infection has been observed especially in women who are nonsmokers; are older than 60 years; do not have a known predisposing pulmonary disorder; and tend to voluntarily suppress cough. [19] Sputum smear in these cases is positive for acid-fast bacilli, and CT scan shows small regular nodules and findings of bronchiectasis. [20, 21, 19]


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