Mycobacterium abscessus – to treat or not to treat
Article first published online: 11 SEP 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Respirology Case Reports published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of The Asian Pacific Society of Respirology.
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Respirology Case Reports
Volume 1, Issue 2, pages 31–33, December 2013
How to Cite
Pang, Y.-K., Ngeow, Y.-F., Wong, Y.-L. and Liam, C.-K. (2013), Mycobacterium abscessus – to treat or not to treat. Respirology Case Reports, 1: 31–33. doi: 10.1002/rcr2.17
- Issue published online: 21 NOV 2013
- Article first published online: 11 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 6 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Received: 10 JUL 2013
- Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia. Grant Number: LR004/2011A
- Indolent infection;
- Mycobacterium abscessus;
- non-tuberculous mycobacterium;
- sensitivity test;
- treatment regimen
A patient with Mycobacterium abscessus lung disease was mistaken to have pulmonary tuberculosis with airway colonization by the non-tuberculous mycobacterium. Appropriate antibiotics were only given when the patient's signs and symptoms worsened while on anti-tuberculosis therapy. Despite treatment with a combination of antibiotics showing in vitro susceptibility, the pathogen persisted in the respiratory secretions for longer than 6 months and the patient suffered a spontaneous pneumothorax 14 months into treatment. This case illustrates the chronic course of M. abscessus lung infection, the tendency for flare-ups, the inadequacy of current treatment regimens, and the necessity for prolonged patient follow-up.