Disseminated Infection Due to Rapidly Growing Mycobacteria in Immunocompetent Hosts Presenting with Chronic Lymphadenopathy: A Previously Unrecognized Clinical Entity


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Abstract

Disseminated infection due to rapidly growing mycobacteria is uncommon and occurs mostly in immunocompromised patients. We report 16 cases of such infection with an unusual presentation seen at Srinagarind Hospital, a university hospital in northeastern Thailand. The clinical features were different from those in previous reports. All of the patients presented with chronic bilateral cervical lymphadenopathy. Twelve had mycobacterial involvement of other organs (sinuses, 6 patients; lungs, 4; liver, 4; spleen, 3; skin, 3; bone and joint, 2; and tonsils, 2). An interesting occurrence in 11 patients was 14 episodes of reactive skin manifestations (Sweet's syndrome, 9; generalized pustulosis and erythema nodosum, 2 each; and pustular psoriasis, 1). No identifiable predisposing factors, including human immunodeficiency disease, were found in these patients. However, 8 patients had 11 episodes of prior infection or coinfection with other opportunistic pathogens (salmonellosis, 4; penicilliosis, 3; pulmonary tuberculosis, 2; and melioidosis and cryptococcosis, 1 each). These findings suggest that cell-mediated immunity is defective in these patients.

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