Mycobacterium abscessus Complex Infections in Children: A Review

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Purpose of Review: Infections in children with Mycobacterium abscessus complex represent a particular challenge for clinicians. Increasing incidence of these infections worldwide has necessitated focused attention to improve both diagnostic as well as treatment modalities. Published medical literature was reviewed, with emphasis on material published in the past 5 years. Recent Findings: Increasing availability of new diagnostic tools, such as matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry and custom PCRs, has provided unique insights into the subspecies within the complex and improved diagnostic certainty. Microbiological review of all recent isolates at the University of Minnesota Medical Center was also conducted, with description of the antimicrobial sensitivity patterns encountered in our center, and compared with those published from other centers in the recent literature. A discussion of conventional antimicrobial treatment regimens, alongside detailed description of the relevant antimicrobials, is derived from recent publications. Summary: Antimicrobial therapy, combined with surgical intervention in some cases, remains the mainstay of pediatric care. Ongoing questions remain regarding the transmission mechanics, immunologic vulnerabilities exploited by these organisms in the host, and the optimal antimicrobial regimens necessary to enable a reliable cure. Updated treatment guidelines based on focused clinical studies in children and accounting especially for the immunocompromised children at greatest risk are very much needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number46
JournalCurrent Infectious Disease Reports
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


  • Atypical mycobacterium
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Mycobacterium abscessus complex
  • Nontuberculous mycobacterium
  • Pediatric


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