Mycobacterium chelonae: Nonhealing leg ulcers treated successfully with an oral antibiotic

Shawn Terry, Nigel H. Timothy, John J. Zurlo, Ernest K. Manders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: Mycobacterium chelonae is an important human pathogen and should be considered when a physician is faced with nonhealing cutaneous wounds, including ulcers of the lower leg. Methods: The medical literature was searched from 1965 to the present using the key words "Mycobacterium chelonae" and "leg ulcers." A case of Mycobacterium chelonae infection is reported. Results and Conclusion: Clarithromycin as single-agent oral therapy has been effective in treating these infections once the proper diagnosis is established. Diagnosis of M chelonae infection requires being alert to this infectious agent and obtaining cultures for mycobacteria. Aggressive surgical debridement with direct excision of the wound might now be unnecessary because of the effectiveness of oral clarithromycin administered as a single oral agent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-461
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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