DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) infection (human lung). Secondary infection to AIDS with symptoms similar to tuberculosis. MAC, also called Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare complex, is a microbial complex of 2 Mycobacterium species, Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium intracellulare. It causes Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare infection (MAI). MAC can cause fevers, diarrhoea, malabsorption, as well as loss of appetite and weight loss, and can disseminate to the bone marrow. Treatment for MAI is typically resistant to standard mycobacterial therapies. This infection causes respiratory illness in birds, pigs, and humans, especially in immunocompromised people. It is typically treated with a series of three antibiotics for a period of at least six months. Mycobacterium avium and M. intracellulare are saprotrophic organisms present in soil and water. Magnification: x6,870 when shortest axis.
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