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Meningomyeloencephalitis secondary to Mycobacterium haemophilum infection in AIDS.


ABSTRACT: Infections by opportunistic non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are rising in global incidence. One emerging, slowly growing NTM is Mycobacterium haemophilum, which can cause skin, lung, bone, and soft tissue infections in immunocompromised patients as well as lymphadenitis in immunocompetent individuals. Detection of this microorganism is difficult using conventional culture-based methods and few reports have documented involvement of this pathogen within the central nervous system (CNS).We describe the neuropathologic autopsy findings of a 39-year-old man with AIDS who died secondary to M. haemophilum CNS infection. He initially presented with repeated bouts of pyrexia, nausea and vomiting, and altered mental status that required numerous hospitalizations. CSF infectious workups were consistently negative. His most recent admission identified hyperintensities within the brainstem by MRI and despite antibiotic therapies for suspected CNS infection, he died. Autopsy revealed a swollen brain with marked widening of the brainstem. Microscopic examination of the brain and spinal cord showed focal lymphohistiocytic infiltrates, gliosis and neuronal loss that were associated with acid-fast bacilli (AFB). The brainstem was the most severely damaged and AFB were found to congregate along arterial territories lending support to the notion of hematogenous spread as a mechanism for the organisms' dissemination. 16S rRNA sequencing on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue enabled post-mortem identification of M. haemophilum. This sequencing methodology may permit diagnosis on CSF intra-vitam.

SUBMITTER: Leskinen S 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7236527 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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