Pedicure-associated rapidly growing mycobacterial infection: an endemic disease.


Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Pedicure-associated nontuberculous mycobacterial furunculosis has been reported in the setting of either outbreaks or sporadic case reports. The epidemiology of these infections is not well understood. METHODS: Systematic surveillance for pedicure-associated nontuberculous mycobacterial furunculosis was conducted in 2 North Carolina counties from 1 January 2005 through 31 December 2008. A subset of implicated nail salons and control salons was inspected and sampled for nontuberculous mycobacteria. RESULTS: Forty cases of suspected or confirmed pedicure-associated nontuberculous mycobacterial furunculosis were reported during the 4-year study period. Furunculosis incidence in the surveillance region was 1.00, 0.96, 0.83, and 0.89 cases per 100,000 population in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008, respectively. The responsible organisms primarily belonged to the Mycobacterium chelonae/abscessus group (30 [91%] of 33 isolates). Thirteen implicated salons and 11 control salons were visited and environmentally sampled. An assortment of nontuberculous mycobacteria was cultured from footbaths, but there was no association between the species distribution of the environmental isolates and implication of the salon in human infection. Evidence of suboptimal cleaning (visible debris or surface biofilms) was observed in at least 1 footbath for 11 of 13 implicated salons and 4 of 11 control salons (P = .032). CONCLUSIONS: Pedicure-associated mycobacterial furunculosis was endemic in these 2 North Carolina counties during 2005-2008. Suboptimal footbath cleaning may have contributed to these infections, which suggests straightforward means of potential prevention. The relative rarity of this type of infection in the setting of nearly ubiquitous exposure to these pathogens suggests that as yet undefined host-specific or procedure-related factors may be involved in susceptibility to these infections.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Stout, JE; Gadkowski, LB; Rath, S; Alspaugh, JA; Miller, MB; Cox, GM

Published Date

  • October 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 53 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 787 - 792

PubMed ID

  • 21921222

Pubmed Central ID

  • 21921222

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1537-6591

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/cid/cir539


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States