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Mycobacterium fortuitum as a cause of acute CNS infection in an immune-competent girl undergoing repeated VP shunt surgeries


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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