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Free Content Rhodococcus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis: masquerade or mixed infection [Case Study]

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Rhodocci have a morphology similar to that of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB), and are indistinguishable from normal diphtheroid flora. Symptoms include fever, productive/non-productive cough and pleuritic chest pain. Rhodococcal infections, being resistant to routine anti-tuberculosis medications, may be misdiagnosed as drug-resistant TB, thus prompting treatment for TB with rifampicin-containing regimens that promote the emergence of resistance. We present here a sputum smear AFB-positive case who, although clinically cured, remains unresolved despite a series of technological investigations as to the cause of infection being purely rhodococci or mixed infection with M. tuberculosis.
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Keywords: IS1081; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Oxy R; Rhodococcus equi; mixed infections; rpoβ mutations

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: 1: Foundation for Medical Research, Mumbai, India 2: Imperial College School of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, United Kingdom 3: Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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