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Mycobacterium fortuitum infection
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Mycobacterium fortuitum infection

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Contributors: Neil Mendoza MD
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Infection due to Mycobacterium fortuitum, a nontuberculous, rapidly growing mycobacterium. Nontuberculous mycobacteria including M. fortuitum are frequently isolated from the environment. The most common clinical syndromes that this organism is associated with are skin and soft tissue infection, skeletal infection (bone, joint, and tendon), and catheter-related infections.

Less frequently, infection with this pathogen may cause chronic nodular lung disease or lymphadenitis, especially in the subset of patients with GERD and chronic vomiting.

Infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a risk factor for M. fortuitum infection, although Mycobacterium avium complex and Mycobacterium kansasii are more frequent pathogens in that patient population.

Immunocompetent patients may present with skin infection due to M. fortuitum. Most patients will report antecedent trauma. The clinical appearance of the wound is nonspecific, and diagnosis depends on isolating the organism in culture (of draining material or of a tissue biopsy).

Treatment may involve a combination of surgical debridement and antibiotic therapy. Macrolides are usually avoided in this infection due to the presence of a gene that imparts inducible resistance to this class of antibiotic.


A31.8 – Other mycobacterial infections

6040009 – Infection due to Mycobacterium fortuitum

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Last Updated: 10/01/2015
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Mycobacterium fortuitum infection
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Mycobacterium fortuitum infection : Fever, Intravenous catheter exposure, Multiple pulmonary nodules/masses, Regional lymphadenopathy, Surgical incision
Clinical image of Mycobacterium fortuitum infection
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