BMJ Case Reports 2010; doi:10.1136/bcr.02.2010.2702
  • Reminder of important clinical lesson

An unusual surgical site infection in a liver transplant recipient

  1. Camilla Rodrigues4
  1. 1Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Jaslok Hospital Research Centre, Mumbai, India
  2. 2Department of Gastroenterology, Jaslok Hospital Research Centre, Mumbai, India
  3. 3Department of Microbiology, Jaslok Hospital Research Centre, Mumbai, India
  4. 4Department of Microbiology, Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Aabha Nagral, aabhanagral{at}


Mycobacterium abscessus is a rare cause of human infection and is difficult to diagnose unless it is suspected. A 45-year-old woman underwent deceased donor liver transplantation following which she developed non-healing surgical site infection, which did not resolve with routine antibiotics for 2 months. The scraping of the wound revealed M abscessus infection. Definitive identification of this species of mycobacterium was possible by its growth characteristics on culture and reverse line blot hybridisation assay. She was treated with clarithromycin and cotrimaxazole as per sensitivity and showed complete recovery from the infection within 6 weeks of starting the drugs, which were continued for 6 months. We believe that this is the first documented case of surgical site infection by M abscessus in a liver transplant recipient.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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