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Acta Medica Colombiana

Print version ISSN 0120-2448


LLERENA, Claudia; VALBUENA, Yanely Angélica; ZABALETA, Angie Paola  and  GOMEZ, Tatiana. Pulmonary disease caused by Mycobacterium avium complex and M. abscessus. Acta Med Colomb [online]. 2017, vol.42, n.1, pp.26-29. ISSN 0120-2448.


after the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, the main species of mycobacteria causing lung disease are Mycobacterium avium complex and Mycobacterium abscessus. The treatment is prolonged; they present a broad resistance profile and sometimes the surgical resection of the tissue is necessary, making healing difficult in some cases.


to perform an analysis of the cases to which MAC and M. abscessus were isolated from pulmonary samples in the period from 2012 to 2014 in the National Reference Laboratory of Colombia.

Materials and Methods:

a case series study of 42 individuals to whom Mac and M. abcessus were isolated from pulmonary samples that were identified by phenotypic and genotypic tests, was carried out. The source of information was the unique format of surveillance of mycobacteria that is received with each of the isolates that come to the National Health Institute. The variables age, sex, type of sample and presence of risk factors were analyzed.


in 32 patients MAC was identified as etiological agent causing pulmonary disease and in 10 cases, M. abscessus was the agent. 26 (61.9%) of the patients were between 51 and 86 years of age. The main risk factors were: antecedent of anti-tuberculosis treatment in16 (38.1%),7 with HIV (16.7%) and without risk factor 9 cases (21.2%).

Keywords : nontuberculous mycobacteria; Mycobacterium avium complex; Mycobacterium abscessus; pulmonary disease.

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