Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteraemia: Experience from a non-endemic urban centre

H. M. El Sahly, L. D. Teeter, James M. Musser, Edward A. Graviss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The isolation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from blood culture specimens has been associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-infection with variable impact on tuberculosis (TB) mortality reported. The overwhelming majority of M. tuberculosis bacteraemia cases were described in developing countries. We present a nested case-control analysis of clinical, sociodemographic and behavioural risk factors in patients with positive M. tuberculosis blood cultures compared with patients with negative blood cultures from a 9-year population-based active TB surveillance study conducted in Houston, Texas. There were 42 patients with M. tuberculosis bacteraemia, 47 blood culture negative patients and 3573 patients for whom no mycobacterial blood culture was requested. HIV infection was more common in patients for whom a mycobacterial blood culture was requested (79.8% versus 15.1% p <0.001). Of the patients with M. tuberculosis bacteraemia, six were HIV negative or had no documentation of HIV status, including five with immunosuppressive conditions other than HIV. Patients with M. tuberculosis bacteraemia were more likely than patients with negative blood cultures to be deceased at diagnosis or to die while on TB therapy (50.0% versus 17.0%, p <0.01), to report men-who-have-sex-with-men behaviour (31.7% versus 13.0%, p 0.03), to have renal failure (28.6% versus 6.4%, p 0.01), and to have HIV RNA levels higher than 500 000 copies/mL (61.9% versus 17.2%, p ≤0.01). Requests for mycobacterial culture of blood specimens were more common in HIV-infected individuals, and the presence of M. tuberculosis bacteraemia was associated with a significant increase in mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-268
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Microbiology and Infection
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Mortality
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteraemia
  • Outcomes
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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