Mycobacterium abscessus Complex Infections in Humans - Volume 21, Number 9—September 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC
Volume 21, Number 9—September 2015
CME ACTIVITY - Synopsis
Mycobacterium abscessus Complex Infections in Humans
Mycobacteria are divided into 2 major groups for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment: Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, which comprises M. tuberculosis, and nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), which comprise all of the other mycobacteria species that do not cause tuberculosis. NTM can cause pulmonary disease resembling tuberculosis, skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs), central nervous system infections, bacteremia, and ocular and other infections (1,2). Over the past decade, the number of NTM disease cases worldwide has markedly increased (3,4), and the upsurge cannot be explained solely by increased awareness among physicians and advances in laboratory methods (3).
M. abscessus complex is a group of rapidly growing, multidrug-resistant NTM species that are ubiquitous in soil and water (1). Species comprising M. avium complex (MAC) are the most common NTM species responsible for disease; however, infections caused by M. abscessus complex are more difficult to treat because of antimicrobial drug resistance (5). M. abscessus complex is also resistant to disinfectants and, therefore, can cause postsurgical and postprocedural infections (2,5). Although M. abscessus complex most commonly causes SSTIs and pulmonary infections, the complex can also cause disease in almost all human organs (2,5). To improve our understanding ofM. abscessus complex infections, we reviewed the epidemiology and clinical features of and treatment and prevention measure for diseases caused by the organisms as well as the taxonomy and antimicrobial susceptibilities of these organisms.
Dr. Lee is attending physician at the Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital Hsin-Chu Branch, Hsin-Chu, Taiwan, and Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan. His primary research interests include emerging infections and epidemiologic and clinical research on diseases caused by nontuberculous mycobacteria.
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Suggested citation for this article: Lee MR, Sheng WH, Hung CC, Yu CJ, Lee LN, Hsueh PR. Mycobacterium abscessus complex infections in humans. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 Sep [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2109.141634