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Mycobacterium kansasi

Mycobacterium kansasii: What is it?

Mycobacterium kansasi
It's everywhere.

What is it?

A  is a type of bacterial infection that can cause severe symptoms in people who have compromised immune systems. People who have healthy immune system can also be infected with M. kansasii. However, the symptoms they develop not offer life-threatening and are usually limited to lung problems. In people with HIV-related illnesses at an advanced stage, M. kansasii usually involves the lungs and can spread to other organs, including the liver, spleen and bone marrow.

A M. kansasii can be found almost anywhere in the room. They live in water, soil, food, and a variety of animals. People with HIV-positive and compromised immune systems living in the Midwest and Southwest United States has a higher risk of developing diseases caused by M. kansasii.


Fortunately, the same drugs used to prevent the Complex Mycobacterium avium - Which should be initiated in all HIV-positive individuals with T-cell count below 75 - can also help prevent infection M. kansasii to cause disease. In other words, an HIV positive person is taking medications to prevent the MAC may also be protected against M. kansasii.

Translation Rodrigo Pellegrine

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