Rapidly growing mycobacteria (RGM) bloodstream infections (BSI) are an emerging problem often associated with therapeutic challenges. We review the epidemiology, treatment and outcomes over a 5-year period of a heterogeneous group presenting to our institution with RGM BSI.Materials and Methods:
A retrospective cohort study of patients with primary RGM BSI from January 2006-December 2011 was conducted. Patient characteristics (age, race, sex and comorbidities), infection characteristics (catheter associated, hospital acquired, microbiology and antimicrobial susceptibilities), therapy and outcomes were recorded and compared by species.Results:
Among 32 patients, 33 RGM BSI occurred. Patients had an average of 3-4 comorbidities, most commonly malignancy (45.5%). Most isolates (30.3%) were Mycobacterium fortuitum or Mycobacterium mucogenicum (27.2%), followed by Mycobacterium abscessus/chelonae (18.2%) and Mycobacterium immunogenum (12.2%). In all, 85% were catheter associated and 27.3% were hospital acquired. Empiric therapy was started in 19 (57.6%) patients and among these, it was adequate (at least 2 active agents based on susceptibilities) in 12 (63.2%). Among 21 patients with outcome data, cure was assumed for 14 (66.7%). One death was attributable to RGM BSI. Cure rates were higher among those who received adequate empiric therapy compared to those who did not (83.3% versus 42.9%). In general, antibiotic susceptibility was favorable across species for clarithromycin, amikacin and imipenem.Conclusions:
RGM BSI occurred in a population with multiple comorbidities, most commonly malignancy, and most were catheter associated. Higher cures were seen among those who received adequate empiric therapy and based on susceptibility data, a broad empiric regimen of clarithromycin, amikacin and imipenem would be expected to be adequate.