Original report| Volume 3, ISSUE 4, P192-196, June 1999

IS1245 genotypic analysis of Mycobacterium avium isolates from patients in Brazil

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      Objective: Disseminated Mycobacterium avium infection is an emerging opportunistic disease among patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in Brazil. The mode of transmission of M. avium in a developing country setting needs to be better characterized.
      Methods: Mycobacterium avium strain collections in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro were analyzed according to the strains' IS1245 DNA gel electrophoretic migration patterns. Medical records of the patients from whom M. avium isolates were available were reviewed, and their demographic characteristics were stratified according to the isolates' IS1245 DNA fingerprint patterns.
      Results: Of 105 patients, 33 (31 %) with M. avium isolated between 1990 and 1994 had strains having IS1245 patterns identical in patterns seen in isolates from two or more patients (designated as cluster pattern strains). Cluster pattern strains were isolated from 21 (39%) of 54 patients with disseminated infection (defined as infection due to M. avium isolated from a sterile site in an adult patient). Six of the cluster pattern strains were isolated only from sterile sites. In São Paulo, cluster pattern strains were significantly more likely to be isolated from patients with disseminated disease.
      Conclusions: These preliminary observations suggest that in large cities of Brazil, a high proportion (at least 39%) of disseminated M. avium infections in patients with AIDS results from a recent transmission. Some strains of M. avium may be more likely to cause disseminated disease than others after an infection.



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