Rapid diagnosis of Mycobacterium abscessus endophthalmitis

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Nontuberculous mycobacteria are widely distributed in the environment and have the potential to cause a wide spectrum of infections including pulmonary, bone, soft tissue or ocular infections. They are a rare cause of endophthalmitis, a potentially devastating condition, which may be acquired through contamination of water or antiseptic solutions. Diagnosis is often delayed due to low clinical suspicion, resulting in poor clinical outcomes. Newer laboratory techniques such as real-time PCR can be used for rapid detection, identification and speciation of mycobacteria and allow for initiation of focused antibiotic therapy. We describe a case of Mycobacterium abscessus endophthalmitis that developed 30 years after traumatic loss of cornea in a patient with diabetes mellitus.

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