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Case report
Recurrent bilateral breast abscess due to Mycobacterium abscessus in an immune-competent woman
  1. Kiran Bala1,
  2. Sanjana Kumari1,
  3. Randeep Guleria2 and
  4. Urvashi Singh1
  1. 1Department of Microbiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
  2. 2Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Disorders, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
  1. Correspondence to Professor Urvashi Singh; drurvashi{at}


Mycobacterium abscessus is a rapidly growing, non-tubercular mycobacteria, often associated with skin and soft tissue infections. We report a case of 57-year-old immune-competent woman who suffered recurrent bilateral breast infection for 6 years. She did not benefit from repeated surgical interventions and multiple courses of antibiotics, and one course of empirical antitubercular therapy. Chronicity of the presentation and non-response to varied treatment interventions prompted further microbiological investigations. The patient was diagnosed with M. abscessus and treated with rifabutin, clarithromycin daily for 6 months and injection amikacin for 1 month. Amikacin was replaced with oral levofloxacin due to bilateral sensory-neural hearing loss for higher frequencies after 6 months. Suspicion and identification of NTM are important as the treatment involves long-term combination antibacterial therapy along with surgical debridement for extensive infection or when implants are involved.

  • TB and other respiratory infections
  • breast surgery
  • infectious diseases
  • breast cancer

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  • Contributors KB has contributed in conception and design, acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data. SK has contributed in compilation of all investigations and drafted the article. US contributed in revising it critically for important intellectual content and given the final approval of the version to be published. RG managed the patient and revised the manuscript critically.

  • 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.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

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