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Ann Dermatol. 2009 Feb;21(1):84-7. doi: 10.5021/ad.2009.21.1.84. Epub 2009 Feb 28.

A Case of Skin and Soft Tissue Infection Caused by Mycobacterium abscessus.

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Department of Dermatology, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Mycobacterium abscessus (M. abscessus) is an acid-fast bacillus that's classified as a pathogenic "rapid growing" nontuberculous mycobacteria. It is an uncommon cause of human disease, but it can cause skin and soft tissue infection after skin injury following inoculation, minor trauma and surgery. The single most important factor for determining the course and prognosis of a M. abscessus infection is the underlying immune status of the host. We report here on a 71-year-old female who presented with multiple painful erythematous cutaneous nodules on her left forearm. She had diabetes mellitus and had taken oral steroid by herself for two years because of her osteoarthritis. Histologically, granulomas and inflammatory cell infiltration were observed and M. abscessus was identified via the mycobacterial culture. We performed curettage and drainage, followed by 6 months of oral clarithromycin and the patient's disease completely healed.


Mycobacterium abscessus; Skin infection

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