Over a period of 14 months 12 patients were seen with multiple abscesses of their arms following histamine injections. From three of these cases a fast growing nonpigmented Mycobacterium was isolated. This was identified by detailed bacteriological and serological investigations as Mycobacterium abscessus, an organism different in several respects from M fortuitum. The difficulties in distinguishing between these two species are stressed.
It is thought that the outbreak was caused by injection of a batch of histamine solution which had become infected with this organism.
Inman PM, Beck A, Brown AE, Stanford JL. Outbreak of Injection Abscesses Due to Mycobacterium abscessus. Arch Dermatol. 1969;100(2):141-147. doi:10.1001/archderm.1969.01610260017003