Mycobacterium Avium Complex (MAC) (Mycobacterium Avium-Intracellulare [MAI]) Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Dec 15, 2022
  • Author: Janak Koirala, MD, MPH, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Cutaneous infection, a rare manifestation of Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) infection, should be considered in patients with antibiotic-resistant cellulitis, in those with nonhealing nodules and ulcers, and in patients who are immunosuppressed with evidence of disseminated MAC infection. Primary cutaneous infection is rare, but it does not necessarily mandate a workup for immunosuppression. Of note, isoniazid is a first-line agent in the treatment of M tuberculosis, but it is ineffective for DMAC infection.

Perrin reported a patient with AIDS and a cutaneous MAC infection that mimicked histoid leprosy. [23]

Other problems to be considered in the differential diagnosis of MAC infection include the following:

  • Mumps

  • Parotid tumor

  • HIV wasting

  • Lung cancer

  • Lymphoma

  • Mycobacterium scrofulaceum infection

  • Other nontuberculous mycobacterial infections

Differential Diagnoses