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Mycobacterium fortuitum as a cause of acute CNS infection in an immune-competent girl undergoing repeated VP shunt surgeries
  1. Ashit Bhusan Xess,
  2. Kiran Bala,
  3. Aashirwad Panigrahy and
  4. Urvashi Singh
  1. Department of Microbiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
  1. Correspondence to Professor Urvashi Singh, drurvashi{at}


We present the case of a 14-year-old immune-competent girl with ventriculoperitoneal shunt who was repeatedly hospitalised with meningeal signs despite repeated shunt revision surgeries. Eventually Mycobacterium fortuitum was isolated and the patient improved after specific treatment. M. fortuitum is a rapidly growing, non-tuberculous mycobacterium (NTM). NTMs are associated with postsurgical, post-trauma and device-related infections. Most of the present-day surgical equipment, catheters, prostheses and indwelling devices comprised silicone, stainless steel, polyvinyl chloride and polycarbonate, on which NTMs have the tendency to form biofilms. Central nervous system infection caused by NTM carries a high mortality rate (ranging from 35% to 70%), especially in immune-compromised patients. Indwelling device removal along with prolonged treatment with a combination regimen is recommended in such cases.

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  • Contributors ABX: patient’s medical history, details and follow up; sample processing, isolation of organism and identification; case report writing. KB: patient follow-up, reporting of the organism; planning of the study; analysis of the case and case report writing. US: conception and design of the study; analysis of the case, interpretation and case report writing. AP: medical history, follow-up of the patient.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.