Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dermatology Online Journal

Dermatology Online Journal bannerUC Davis

Mycobacterium mageritense tattoo infection: a known complication with a novel species


Non-pigmented rapidly growing mycobacteria are nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) capable of producing disease. We report a case of tattoo-associated NTM infection with a novel species: Mycobacterium mageritense. A 48-year-old man presented with a two-week history of a papulopustular eruption on the shaded areas of a tattoo that had been placed five weeks prior while in the Philippines. Histopathology from punch biopsies revealed suppurative granulomatous dermatitis with acid fast bacilli present. Subsequent matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometer identified the bacteria as Mycobacterium margeritense. After consultation with infectious disease specialists and culture susceptibilities, the patient was treated with three months of dual antibiotic therapy with minocycline and moxifloxacin. The patient experienced a slow but complete resolution of clinical skin findings after the course of treatment. Since discovery in 1997, M. mageritense infection has been demonstrated in a wide spectrum of disease, predominantly skin and soft tissue infections. The species has not been previously implicated in tattoo-associated NTM infections. M. mageritense should be considered as a specific type of mycobacteria in the differential diagnosis for tattoo-associated NTM infections owing to differences in antibiotic susceptibilities compared to other NTM species.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View