Mycobacterium Fortuitum Clinical Presentation

Updated: Nov 29, 2018
  • Author: Joseph M Fritz, MD; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Presentation

History

Patients with skin disease may develop a nonhealing but nonspreading wound or skin ulcer.

Patients with lung disease may develop a chronic cough.

Pulmonary and disseminated disease cause easy fatigability, occasional fever, night sweats, and weight loss. These symptoms are less common with M fortuitum infection than with tuberculosis.

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Physical

No findings are pathognomonic of M fortuitum infection. Physical findings depend on the infection site, as follows:

  • Eye: Keratitis or corneal ulcers may be present.

  • Lungs: Rales or rhonchi may be present.

  • Heart: Valvular murmur with endocarditis may be present.

  • Abdomen: Diffuse tenderness with peritonitis may be present (eg, a patient undergoing peritoneal dialysis). [4]

  • Skin: Ulcerative skin lesions and/or subcutaneous nodules may be present. Deeper infections may lead to draining fistulas. [5, 6]

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Causes

See the list below:

  • Trauma or injection - Skin lesions, subcutaneous lesions, ocular lesions, and osteomyelitis

  • Immunosuppression - Disseminated disease, especially in patients with AIDS or in those who use corticosteroids

  • Lung disease – Bronchiectasis

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Complications

Severe lung disease or disseminated disease may cause death.

Skin lesions and subsequent debridement may be disfiguring.

Antibiotic monotherapy may lead to drug resistance.

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