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Disseminated Mycobacterium haemophilum infection in a renal transplant recipient
  1. Silke R Brix,
  2. Christof Iking-Konert,
  3. Rolf A K Stahl,
  4. Ulrich Wenzel
  1. Medical Clinic, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Silke R Brix, s.brix{at}


Opportunistic infections are a major concern in renal and transplant medicine. We present the case of a renal transplant recipient with a generalised Mycobacterium haemophilum infection after an increase in immunosuppressive therapy and treatment with a tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) inhibitor. Infection involved skin and soft tissue, joints and bones, as well as the renal transplant with an interstitial nephritis. Rapid diagnosis using PCR and DNA sequencing allowed early appropriate treatment. Triple antibiotic therapy and reduction in immunosuppression resulted in a slow but sustained recovery. Immunosuppression causes severe opportunistic infections. TNF-α inhibitors are very effective and well tolerated but have an increased susceptibility to infections with mycobacteria. Mycobacterial infections represent a significant clinical risk to transplant recipients because of their aggressive clinical course and the need for complex toxic antibiotic treatments. In these patients, M. haemophilum is a cause of skin infections.

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  • Contributors SRB was the attending physician and wrote the article. All co-authors substantially contributed to the acquisition and interpretation of data concerning this case. CI-K and UW also contributed to the drafting of this article. All co-authors critically revised and approved the final version of the report.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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

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