Extensive Cutaneous Botryomycosis With Subsequent Development of Nocardia-Positive Wound Cultures

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Botryomycosis is a rare, chronic granulomatous infection caused by a response to bacteria, most commonly Staphylococcus aureus. Cutaneous manifestations, such as subcutaneous nodules, nonhealing ulcers, or sinus tracks, typically occur following inoculation of bacteria after trauma. Drainage from the skin lesions may contain yellow grains resembling those seen in actinomycosis and nocardiosis. A 20-year-old Hispanic male presented over the course of several years with a chronic nonhealing left posterior scalp wound. A car hit the patient when he was 2 years old and injured the scalp in the location of the skin lesion. Multiple wound cultures grew methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and biopsies were consistent with botryomycosis. He was treated with multiple surgical debridements, skin grafts, and various courses of oral and intravenous antibiotics with slight improvement. One reason for poor response to therapy was noncompliance with long-term home antibiotics. The most recent tissue culture grew MRSA in addition to Nocardia mexicana, and he experienced improvement on linezolid and minocycline. Although it is important to exclude nocardiosis and actinomycosis when diagnosing botryomycosis, our patient was diagnosed with botryomycosis after multiple biopsies and positive MRSA cultures 2 years prior to 1 positive N mexicana culture. Our case is a unique presentation of botryomycosis in an individual who subsequently developed Nocardia-positive wound cultures.

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