How common is disseminated M avium-intracellulare complex (MAC) infection in pediatric HIV infection?

Updated: Mar 05, 2020
  • Author: Delia M Rivera, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Disseminated M avium-intracellulare complex (MAC) infection is not uncommon in children with clinically significant disease progression, and a low CD4+ count is a major risk factor for MAC disease. MAC infection is second only to PCP among the most common opportunistic infections in children with AIDS, occurring in 6-15% of children with HIV infection. This percentage increases to 24% in children with CD4+ counts of less than 100 cells/mL. In the United States, MAC infection may be more common in the South than elsewhere.

MAC is ubiquitous, commonly existing in water, soil, and household environments. In some individuals, colonization may occur before infection. Person-to-person transmission has not been documented.

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