Mycobacterium fortuitum

Should mycobacterium fortuitum be reported to a local or state health department?

Mycobacterium fortuitum infections are not required to be reported; and the World Health Organization (WHO) does not track these infections.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Is it possible to acquire mycobacterium fortuitum in a hospital?

Mycobacterium fortuitum can be a hospital-acquired disease; surgical-site infections due to this bacteria are well-documented. Surgical sites may become infected after the wound is exposed directly or indirectly to contaminated tap water. Other possible sources of mycobacterium fortuitum infection include implanted devices (such as catheters), injection site abscesses, and contaminated endoscopes. A review of the literature demonstrates multiple case reports of breast implant infection with mycobacterium fortuitum.

You can find relevant articles on mycobacterium fortuitum infections after breast surgery through PubMed, a searchable database of biomedical journal articles. Although not all of the articles are available for free online, most articles listed in PubMed have a summary available. To obtain the full article, contact a medical/university library or your local library for interlibrary loan. You can also order articles online through the publisher’s Web site. You can click here to view a search of these articles.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Web site has a page for locating libraries in your area that can provide direct access to these journals (print or online). The Web page also describes how you can get these articles through interlibrary loan and Loansome Doc (an NLM document-ordering service). You can access this page at the following link You can also contact the NLM toll-free at 888-346-3656 to locate libraries in your area.

Last updated on 05-01-20

What is _Mycobacterium fortuitum_?

Mycobacterium fortuitum is a bacteria that can cause infections of many areas of the body including the skin, lymph nodes, and joints. It belongs to a group of bacteria, known as nontuberculous mycobacterium, as it is different from the Mycobacterium that causes tuberculosis. It can be found in natural and processed water, sewage, and dirt.

Healthy people usually do not get Mycobacterium fortuitum infections; however, they may occur after surgery, in people with an impaired immune system, or after exposure to a contaminated medical device (such as an endoscope). It is uncommon for this condition to cause lung disease, but Mycobacterium fortuitum infection can lead to skin disease, osteomyelitis (inflammation of the bone), joint infections, and eye disease. The signs and symptoms of infection differ depending on the infection site. Treatment also depends on the site of the infection, but usually includes prolonged use of antibiotics.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How might an infection with _Mycobacterium fortuitum_ be treated?

The treatment for an infection with Mycobacterium fortuitum differs depending on the area of the body affected. Treatment almost always includes prolonged use of at least two antibiotics, such as amikacin, cefoxitin, and ciprofloxacin. There are no guidelines regarding the length of time in which medication should be used; however, treatment usually lasts for several months and should continue until the signs and symptoms of infection have resolved.

Other treatment depending on the area and cause of the infection may include surgery to remove damaged tissue from infected wounds and removal of implanted medical devices (such an implantable cardioverter defibrillator).

Last updated on 05-01-20

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The RareGuru disease database is regularly updated using data generously provided by GARD, the United States Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center.

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