Emergence of a unique group of necrotizing mycobacterial diseases

Emerg Infect Dis. May-Jun 1999;5(3):367-78. doi: 10.3201/eid0503.990307.

Abstract

Although most diseases due to pathogenic mycobacteria are caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, several other mycobacterial diseases-caused by M. ulcerans (Buruli ulcer), M. marinum, and M. haemophilum-have begun to emerge. We review the emergence of diseases caused by these three pathogens in the United States and around the world in the last decade. We examine the pathophysiologic similarities of the diseases (all three cause necrotizing skin lesions) and common reservoirs of infection (stagnant or slow-flowing water). Examination of the histologic and pathogenic characteristics of these mycobacteria suggests differences in the modes of transmission and pathogenesis, though no singular mechanism for either characteristic has been definitively described for any of these mycobacteria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease Reservoirs
  • Fasciitis, Necrotizing / epidemiology
  • Fasciitis, Necrotizing / microbiology*
  • Fasciitis, Necrotizing / pathology
  • Humans
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous / epidemiology*
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous / pathology
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous / physiopathology
  • Nontuberculous Mycobacteria / classification
  • Nontuberculous Mycobacteria / pathogenicity*
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin Ulcer / microbiology