Mycobacterium kansasii

Last reviewed 01/2018

There are five main atypical mycobacterial infections:

  • pulmonary disease:
    • the commonest atypical mycobacterial infection
    • caused by M. kansasii or M. avium-intracellulare
    • commonest in white males over 45 years with pre-existing lung disease

  • lymphadenitis:
    • a disease of childhood
    • caused by M. avium-intracellulare

  • skin ulcers:
    • caused by M. ulcerans
    • most commonly seen in developing countries

  • injection abscesses:
    • are sporadic infections
    • caused by M. fortuitum or M. chelonei

  • bacteraemia:
    • only seen in immunosuppressed patients
    • usually caused by M. avium-intracellulare