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July 29, 1961

Death Due to Mycobacterium Fortuitum

Author Affiliations

Rome, Ga.

Superintendent (Dr. Corpe), principal bacteriologist (Mr. Smith), and pathologist (Dr. Stergus), Battey State Hospital.

JAMA. 1961;177(4):262-263. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.73040300015012a

MYCOBACTERIUM FORTUITUM Cruz,1 a rapidly growing acid-fast bacillus, has been studied extensively by Gordon and Smith,2 Kushner, McMillen and Senderi,3 and Gordon and Mihm.4 It has been placed in Group 4 of Runyon's arbitrary separation of the "atypical" mycobacteria from human sources. An account of a case is in the literature,5 but a review fails to reveal a case in which this organism was believed to result in death. The following report of a case with autopsy findings is offered as evidence of the grave role this mycobacterium may assume under favorable conditions.

Report of a Case  A 51-year-old tuberculin-positive male was referred to the state tuberculosis hospital for treatment on Feb. 8, 1951. Pulmonary pathology had been discovered earlier when the patient was prepared for an esophagoplasty to relieve cardiospasm. In retrospect the association of achalasia with Group-4 mycobacterial infection is recognized,6

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