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Dermatology Online Journal

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Linezolid as a treatment option for cutaneous non-tuberculous mycobacterial infections


Cutaneous non-tuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) infections have rapidly increased in incidence in recent years. Currently there is no standard treatment and the variable and nonspecific ways in which cutaneous NTM infection presents makes it a therapeutic and diagnostic challenge. We describe a 67-year-old immunocompetent woman with cutaneous NTM infection after she recently underwent a root canal procedure. Although the species was not identified and she was unable to tolerate multiple antibiotics, she ultimately responded well to three months of treatment with linezolid. Given that cutaneous NTM infection can present in immunocompetent patients and that the incidence is rising, it is important for clinicians to maintain a high index of clinical suspicion, especially in patients with a recent history of surgery, trauma, or cosmetic procedures. Linezolid has coverage against non-tuberculous mycobacteria and is an effective therapeutic option for cutaneous NTM cases in which identification to the species level is not possible or when adverse effects limit therapeutic options.

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