Sternal osteomyelitis with bacteremia due to Mycobacterium abscessus is rarely seen in immunocompetent hosts. Routine pyogenic cultures in these cases are often negative causing a delay in diagnosis and treatment. Clinicians and microbiologists should rule out the possibility of infection due to nontuberculous mycobacteria while managing cases of nonhealing culture-negative wounds with conventional antibiotic therapy. We report a case of bacteremia secondary to a nonhealing sternal wound due to M. abscessus. A combination of radical debridement and prolonged antimicrobial therapy helped in the complete eradication of the infection.
Key words: Bacteremia, Mycobacterium abscessus, nontuberculous mycobacteria, sternal osteomyelitis