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J Glob Infect Dis. 2019 Apr-Jun;11(2):83-85. doi: 10.4103/jgid.jgid_148_17.

A Case of Lipotourism-associated Multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium abscessus Infection.

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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, US.


Rapidly growing mycobacteria have become increasingly recognized as pathogens implicated in surgical site infections that can be both difficult to diagnose and treat with an evolving understanding of both intrinsic and acquired resistance patterns. As common environmental commensal organisms that can colonize water supplies, they are of particular concern in the setting of a growing medical tourism industry. We present a case of a 49-year-old woman who acquired a highly multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium abscessus skin and soft-tissue infection after cosmetic abdominoplasty that required radical surgical debridement and 6 months of intravenous therapy to eradicate. This case highlights the challenges in the management of M. abscessus infections including delay to diagnosis and resistance patterns that are likely to become more common despite antibiotic stewardship efforts.


Lipotourism; Mycobacterium abscessus skin and soft-tissue infection; medical tourism; multidrug resistance; plastic surgery

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