Qu'est-ce que les mycobactéries atypiques ?

Translated title of the contribution: What are atypical mycobacteria ?

J. Grosset, Ch Truffot-Pernot, H. Boisvert, V. Lalande

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Atypical mycobacteria are acid-fast bacterial species other than M. tuberculosis, M. bovis, M. africanum, M. paratuberculosis, M. leprae and M. leprae-murium, that are responsible for opportunistic infections in man. The majority of them have a thermostable catalase activity, are not pathogenic for guinea pig and resistant to drugs active against M. tuberculosis. Although more than 40 different species of atypical mycobacteria have been identified, clinically important atypical mycobacteria are limited to 12 potential pathogens and 10 rarely or never pathogenic, or even only environmental species. In our laboratory, during the year 1989, the atypical mycobacteria recovered from human specimens were 30 % M. avium-intracellulare, 11 % M. xenopi, 3,6 % M. kansasii, 10 % M. fortuitum-complex and 40 % M. gordonae. Ten years earlier, in 1979, using the same decontamination and identification procedures, the species distribution was 1,7 % M. avium-intracellulare, 0,6 % M. xenopi, 4 % M. kansasii, 12,6 % M. fortuitum complex and 55,2 % M. gordonae. The increasing recovery of M. avium-intracellulare is related to the increasing AIDS epidemic. In addition, M. avium-intracellulare is responsible for 80 % of the clinical infections due to atypical mycobacteria in HIV seropositive patients whereas M. kansasii and M. xenopi are responsible for 74 % of infections due to atypical mycobacteria in HIV seronegative patients.

Translated title of the contributionWhat are atypical mycobacteria ?
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)7-15
Number of pages9
JournalMedecine et Maladies Infectieuses
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • AIDS
  • Atypical mycobacteria
  • M. avium-intracellulare
  • Opportunistic infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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