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The objectives of this study were to assess whether culture conversion affects quality of life (QoL), survival and Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC)-associated morbidity in patients with AIDS. Data from an open, multicenter, noncomparative trial were analyzed to test the benefit of suppressing mycobacteria: measures of QoL, clinical outcomes and quality-adjusted survival are compared on occasion of culture-negative and positive assessments. The study was conducted at AIDS clinics in France, coordinated by the GETIM, with the participation of 51 AIDS patients with culture-proven Non-Tuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) disease. Patients underwent a quadruple drug-regimen. The following parameters were investigated: (i) Culture conversion to a negative finding (= suppression) or on > 2 occasions, including each patient's last valid observation (= conversion); (ii) survival after treatment start; (iii) QoL by using the ECOG score, re-coded 0 to 4 for worst to best performance status; (iv) quality-adjusted survival. On treatment, > 1 negative culture was recorded for 69% of the evaluable patients, corresponding to 111 person-months of observation. Positive culture findings accounted for 42 person-months only. Patients' performance status (mean 1.8 at entry) worsened or improved according to whether culture was positive or negative (means 1.2 and 2.2; total scores 109 and 217 person-months, respectively). Similarly, MAC-attributable morbidity was significantly reduced when culture was negative. Mean survival was 195 days longer in treatment success patients. These analyses suggest that, in patients with NTM disease occurring as a late complication of AIDS, treatment was effective in improving clinical status and survival, and in suppressing bacterial growth.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of chemotherapy (Florence, Italy)

Publication Date





189 - 196


R&D/Anti-infectives, Farmitalia Carlo Erba, Milan, Italy.


Humans, Mycobacterium avium Complex, Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare Infection, AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections, Ethambutol, Isoniazid, Clofazimine, Rifabutin, Drug Therapy, Combination, Microbial Sensitivity Tests, Prospective Studies, Body Burden, Quality of Life, Adult, Aged, Middle Aged, Male