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J Dermatol. 2000 Apr;27(4):264-8.

Sporotrichoid dermatosis caused by Mycobacterium abscessus from a public bath.

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Department of Dermatology, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Taejon, Korea.


Infections caused by nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are usually associated with immunocompromised states. More recently, however, NTM infections are being diagnosed with greater frequency in patients lacking traditional risk factors. However, cutaneous infection with rapidly growing mycobacteria is uncommon, and diagnosis may be difficult. Herein we present a case of sporotrichoid dermatosis on both forearms caused by Mycobacterium abscessus in a 34-year-old female (case 1). Mycobacterium abscesus was identified by culture as a colorless colony with rapid growth and by comparative sequence analysis of the rpoB gene. The patient was suspected to have been infected in a public bath in which she worked, it was located in a famous hot spring area in Korea. The condition was first noticed after she had been working in the bath for two years and after another employee (case 2) suffered similar lesions which had responded to treatment. The patient's skin lesions were successfully treated with anti-tuberculous drugs for six months.

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