Atypical mycobacteria: classification, clinical syndromes and treatment



Suliman G. Otman

Walsh Institute of Dermatology, Cardiff University, Wales UK & Dermatology department, Garyounis University, Benghazi, Libya

Libyan J Infect Dis. Vol. 1, No.1. Jan-2007:3-10


Atypical mycobacteria may cause many different types of infections such as septic arthritis, abscesses and skin and bone infection. Mycobacteria are classified according to their rate of growth and ability to produce yellow pigment in the dark or in the light. The varied and diverse group of cutaneous mycobacterial infections arise from a combination of the low innate pathogenicity of the organisms and opportune exposures of the hosts. Mycobacteria may pose an infectious risk for pedicure and manicure customers. Physicians should suspect this cause in patients with persistent furunculosis after exposure to whirlpool footbaths or pedicure procedures. Also an outbreak of M. abscessus was reported in a haemodialysis clinic in many clinics. All physicians should be alert to the current cluster of M. abscessus infections after injections for cosmetic purposes by nonmedical practitioners.

Keywords: Mycobacterial infections, Atypical mycobacteria, Mycobacterium marinum, Mycobacterium ulcerans, Mycobacterium fortuitum, Mycobacterium haemophilum