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Successful Treatment of Refractory Disseminated Mycobacterium abscessus Infection Using Interferon Gamma

Rivera, Rey J. MD, PGY-1*; Alrabaa, Sally F. MD; List, Alan MD; Greene, John N. MD, FACP

Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice: March 2011 - Volume 19 - Issue 2 - p 142-145
doi: 10.1097/IPC.0b013e3181f744bb
Case Reports

Mycobacterium abscessus is a rapidly growing nontuberculous mycobacterium of low virulence that is capable of causing disseminated infections in the immunocompromised host. These infections require multiple antimicrobial agents for effective therapy, with difficulty in eradicating the pathogen from intracellular locations. We report a case of disseminated M. abscessus infection resistant to conventional antimicrobials, with an excellent response to interferon gamma therapy. In addition, the underlying myelodysplastic syndrome improved, with decreasing transfusion requirements and improved blood cellularity owing to therapy with interferon gamma.

From the Departments of *Internal Medicine, †Infectious Disease and International Medicine, University of South Florida; Departments of ‡Malignant Hematology, and §Infectious Diseases, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL.

Correspondence to: John N. Greene, MD, FACP, Infectious Diseases and Hospital Epidemiologist, Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Internal Medicine & Oncological Science, University of South Florida College of Medicine, 12902 Magnolia Dr, FOB-3, Tampa, FL 33612-9497. E-mail:

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.