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Delayed Diagnosis of Mycobacterium marinum Infections Associated With Cosmetic Injections

Ebama, Nyabilondi H. MD*; Tiruvury, Hemavarna MD*†; Mithaiwala, Sanaa DO; Kwan, Edmund K. MD§; Godfrey, Norman MD; Chan, Wai Ping DO; Lee, Hyun-soo MD; Segal-Maurer, Sorana MD*

Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice: November 2012 - Volume 20 - Issue 6 - p 414–415
doi: 10.1097/IPC.0b013e31824f8c67
Case Reports

Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) may cause skin and soft tissue infections. Frequently, these are related to contaminated environmental sources and/or inappropriate disinfection of instruments (including reuse of single use devices). Reports of skin and soft tissue infections caused by NTM have been described in the setting of cosmetic procedures (especially those performed by unlicensed and/or untrained practitioners). Injection-related NTM infections rarely involve Mycobacterium marinum. We report 2 cases of Mycobacterium marinum facial ulcers after “filler” injections by an unlicensed practitioner at a local “spa.” Lack of suspicion of NTM association led to delayed diagnosis and extensive local destruction. We aim to increase education regarding NTM-related infections resulting from cosmetic injections and increase public vigilance regarding the appropriate setting and personnel performing these procedures.

From the *Internal Medicine Department, Division of Infectious Diseases, New York Hospital Queens, Flushing, NY; †Infectious Diseases Center of New Jersey, West Orange, NJ; ‡Internal Medicine Department, New York Hospital Queens, Flushing; §Surgery Department, Division of Plastic Surgery, New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York; ∥Surgery Department, Division of Plastic Surgery, New York Hospital Queens; and ¶Lee Skin Surgery Center, Flushing, NY.

Correspondence to: Nyabilondi H. Ebama, MD, Division of Infectious Diseases, New York Hospital Queens, 5645 Main St, Flushing, NY 11355. E-mail:

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

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.