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Mycobacterium mucogenicum from the Hickman line of an immunocompromised patient
  1. C Marshall,
  2. J Samuel,
  3. A Galloway,
  4. S Pedler
  1. Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust, UK
  1. Mrs C Marshall, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP, UK; carmarr{at}aol.com

Abstract

Gram stain of a positive blood culture is the clinician’s first indication of a possible causative infective organism and a guide to suitable antimicrobial therapy prior to cultural and phenotypic identification with susceptibility test results. Occasionally interpretation of a Gram stain can be difficult; if there is a low bacterial load, no organisms may be seen. Such a case is reported, where a positive blood culture taken from the Hickman line of an immunocompromised patient flagged as positive at 5 days’ incubation, but no organisms were seen on Gram film. On subculture, a slow growing Gram-positive bacillus was isolated which was initially misidentified and reported as a “diphtheroid” species. The actual identity of this organism and further isolates was later elucidated as Mycobacterium mucogenicum, a rapidly growing non-tuberculous mycobacterium.

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Footnotes

  • Informed consent was obtained for the publication of the details in this report.

  • Competing interests: None declared.

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