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Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin. 2006 May;24(5):302-6.

[Soft-tissue infections due to non-tuberculous mycobacteria following mesotherapy. What is the price of beauty].

[Article in Spanish]

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Laboratorio de Tuberculosis, Instituto de Biomedicina, Caracas, Venezuela.



Mesotherapy is widely used In Latin America for cosmetic purposes, particularly in obese individuals. We describe the clinical and epidemiological characteristics, microbiological diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of patients from Caracas (Venezuela) with soft tissue infection caused by non-tuberculous mycobacteria following mesotherapy.


Between March 2002 and December 2003, we evaluated 49 cases of skin and soft tissue infection following mesotherapy. Specimens obtained from the lesions and 15 products used in the mesotherapy procedure were cultured for the presence of non-tuberculous mycobacteria. Isolated mycobacteria were identified by PCR restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the hsp65 gene.


Infection by non-tuberculous mycobacteria was confirmed in 81.6% of the 49 cases. Mycobacterium abscessus and M. fortuitum were the most common species, but M. chelonae, M. peregrinum, M. simiae and a new species that was designated "M. cosmeticum" were also isolated. Patients were treated with species-specific antibiotic agents for 3 to 18 months. Investigation into the source of the infection revealed that 21 patients were clustered within 3 different outbreaks and two products were found to be contaminated with M. fortuitum and M. abscessus, respectively.


Physicians should be alerted to the possibility of infection by non-tuberculous mycobacteria in patients with a history of mesotherapy who develop late-onset skin and soft tissue infection, particularly if they do not respond to conventional antibiotic treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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