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Treatment of Unclassified Mycobacteria

Constantine Vishnevsky, MD
JAMA. 1963;185(8):672-673. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060080068026.
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To the Editor:—  In The Journal editorial, "The Unclassified Mycobacteria" (184:712 [June 1] 1963) the following statement was made: "With these infections, prolonged isolation, hospitalization, and chemotherapy with the attendant physical, financial, and psychological burdens are probably unwarranted and even dangerous."This statement is misleading and may leave the impression, with those who are not thoroughly familiar with the today's status of treatment of mycobacterioses, that chemotherapy in cases of infection with anonymous (unclassified) mycobacteria is not indicated. While it is true that the mode of transmission of infections with anonymous acid-fast bacillus (AFB) is not clear, and that the possibility of man-to-man transmission has not been proved, the infection with anonymous strains of AFB, especially with photochromogenic and Battey strains, may result in a severe progressive tuberculosis-like disease. The accepted treatment to prevent further progression of the disease and arrest it is antituberculous chemotherapy based on the same


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