Symptoms of Mycobacterium abscessus
Skin infected with M. abscessus is usually red, warm, tender to the touch, swollen, and/or painful. Infected areas can also develop boils or pus-filled vesicles. Other signs of M. abscessus infection are fever, chills, muscle aches, and a general feeling of illness. A medical provider should evaluate the infection to determine if it may be due to M. abscessus.
Diagnosis of Mycobacterium abscessus
For a definite diagnosis, the organism has to be cultured from the infection site or, in severe cases, from a blood culture.
Diagnosis is made by growing this bacterium in the laboratory from a sample of the pus or biopsy of the infected area. When the infection is severe, the bacterium can be found in the blood and isolated from a blood sample. To make the diagnosis, your healthcare provider will have to take a sample from the infected area and/or blood and send it to a laboratory for identification. It is important that persons who have any evidence of infection at a site where they received procedures, such as surgery or injections, let their doctors know so the appropriate tests can be done.