Atypical mycobacteriosis of the skin caused by Mycobacterium abscessus in an immunocompetent woman
Nenoff, P.; Uhlemann, R.; Grünewald, T.; Nenning, H.; Grunewald, S.; Paasch, U.
Der Hautarzt; Zeitschrift für Dermatologie Venerologie und verwandte Gebiete 58(12): 1051-1057
ISSN/ISBN: 0017-8470 PMID: 17429583 DOI: 10.1007/s00105-007-1321-1
Mycobacterium abscessus is the most pathogenic of the fast-growing mycobacteria, and it is resistant to most of the antimicrobial and tuberculostatic drugs available. This non-tuberculous mycobacterium is significant in medicine because it can contaminate post-traumatic wounds and be a causative agent in chronic skin and soft tissue infection after surgical procedures.A 60-year-old immunocompetent woman was suffering from chronic ulcers and abscesses on the heels and malleoli of both feet. Histological examination revealed a granulomatous inflammation with detection of acid-fast rods, albeit without fibrinoid necrosis. The repeated detection of atypical mycobacteria, which were ultimately identified as Mycobacterium abscessus, allowed the diagnosis of an atypical mycobacteriosis of the skin. This was successfully treated first with clarithromycin and rifabutin and later with a combination of ethambutol, minocycline, clofazimine and azithromycin.