Mycobacterium abscessus skin infection after tattooing: first case report and review of the literature

Dermatology. 2010 Aug;221(1):1-4. doi: 10.1159/000313974. Epub 2010 Jun 18.


Mycobacterium abscessus is a species of rapidly growing mycobacteria (RGM). This species can cause skin and soft tissue infections after trauma or surgical procedures, pulmonary infections and disseminated diseases in immunocompromised patients. It has been rarely documented after tattoo procedures. Herein we describe the case of a 51-year- old man who presented with erythematous papules over a tattoo on the back 10 days after a tattoo session. Culture revealed M. abscessus. Tattoo infections, clinical features and treatment options due to RGM are reviewed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Clarithromycin / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycobacterium / genetics
  • Mycobacterium / isolation & purification*
  • Pristinamycin / therapeutic use
  • Tattooing / adverse effects*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tuberculosis, Cutaneous / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Cutaneous / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis, Cutaneous / microbiology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Pristinamycin
  • Clarithromycin