Clinical characteristics of nontuberculous mycobacterial disease in people living with HIV/AIDS in South Korea: A multi-center, retrospective study

Eun Hwa Lee, Bum Sik Chin, Young Keun Kim, Jin Sae Yoo, Young Hwa Choi, Subin Kim, Ki Hyun Lee, Se Ju Lee, Jinnam Kim, Yae Jee Baek, Jung Ho Kim, Jin Young Ahn, Su Jin Jeong, Nam Su Ku, Joon Sup Yeom, Jun Yong Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the introduction of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), the prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) disease has declined. However, NTM diseases still occur in people living with HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) (PLWHA). We analysed the clinical and microbiological features of NTM diseases in PLWHA in South Korea. PLWHA who were diagnosed with NTM diseases between January 2000 and March 2021 were retrospectively enrolled from five different hospitals in South Korea. Data on baseline demographics, HIV status, CD4+ T cell counts, viral load, past and current cART regimens, isolated NTM species, results of antimicrobial susceptibility tests, treatment regimens, and outcomes were collected by reviewing medical records. A total of 34 cases of NTM in PLWHA were included. Pulmonary and extrapulmonary NTM diseases accounted for 58.8% (n = 20) and 41.2% (n = 14), respectively. The lymph node was the most common site of extrapulmonary NTM disease (64.3%). The age at the time of NTM disease diagnosis was younger in the extrapulmonary NTM group than in the pulmonary NTM group (37.0 vs. 49.0 years). Mean CD4+ T cell counts at the time of NTM disease diagnosis was 186.6 cells/μL (range: 1–1394). Nine patients (26.5%) had fully suppressed viral loads at the time of NTM disease diagnosis. Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) was the most common species found, followed by M. intracellulare and M. kansasii. MAC isolates were all susceptible to clarithromycin, but the rates of non-susceptibility to moxifloxacin, linezolid, ethambutol, and rifampin were 75%, 37.5%, 12.5%, and 12.5%, respectively. The average duration of treatment was 17 months and the mortality rate was 8.8%. NTM diseases may occur in PLWHA, even with completely suppressed viral loads. The identified clinical features of NTM diseases are essential for its clinical management in South Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0276484
JournalPloS one
Issue number11 November
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by research grants for deriving the major clinical and epidemiological indicators of people with HIV (Korea HIV/AIDS Cohort Study, 2019-ER5101-00), a fund for the Chronic Infectious Disease Cohort Study (4800-4859-304, 2019-E5103-00) by the Research of Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a grant from the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (grant no. HI14C1324). The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Special thanks to Editage ( for English language editing.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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