An unusual case of Mycobacterium chelonae infection

Ruth Shorrocks*, Sam J L Hayward, Ed Moran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Introduction: A 32 year old lady developed multiple distinct, purple, raised, itchy lesions on her limbs, during a prolonged hospital admission. The lesions developed over six to eight weeks with no evidence of improvement. One lesion was biopsied and sent for analysis.

The patient had a background of end stage renal failure from Anti-glomerular basement membrane (Anti-GBM) disease and she went on to receive a renal transplant. Eleven months prior to her hospital admission her transplant failed from de-novo focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. She had been admitted for 9 months with an eating disorder and malnutrition. She had been off any immunosuppressive agents for 6 months at the time that the lesions appeared.

Methods: The lesion biopsied was consistent with a dermal abscess. The Ziehl-Neelsen stain was negative but a mycobacterium was cultured. This was confirmed to be Mycobacterium chelonae on reference lab testing (sensitivities awaited). She had no other lesions of concern on imaging.

Results:Due to the disseminated nature of the lesions she was started on a 2 week course of intravenous amikacin with oral azithromycin and levofloxacin; the oral components to be continued for 2 to 6 months dependent on clinical response.

Discussion:Mycobacterium chelonae is a nontuberculous mycobacterium abundant throughout the environment. It commonly causes skin lesions or cellulitis as well respiratory disease and urinary catheter colonization. It is a less common Rapidly Growing Mycobacterium (RGM) which usually occurs in patients on immunosuppression. The immunosuppressed state in this case was that caused by dialysis and malnutrition.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAccess Microbiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2020

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