A Diabetic Woman with Insulin Injection Abscesses

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Evan Darwin http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0610-193X
Lucy Chen
Anna Nichols
Paolo Romanelli


diabetes, insulin, abscess, mycobacteria


A 50-year-old diabetic woman developed multiple abscesses after daily injections of subcutaneous regular human insulin.  Initial cultures from the draining fluid revealed no organisms, and the patient was unresponsive to multiple courses of antibiotics including doxycycline, amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, and intravenous vancomycin and piperacillin/tazobactam. After consulting dermatology, the patient underwent punch biopsy and tissue culture. The tissue culture grew mycobacterium fortuitum after 22 days of incubation.  The patient was diagnosed with non-tuberculous mycobacterial infection and began to improve after treatment with ciprofloxacin. Non-tuberculous mycobacteria are common in the environment, although systemic manifestations of infection are rare in healthy individuals. In this paper, we discuss the risk factors, diagnostic methods, and treatment recommendations for these types of infections. 


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