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Tsukamurella: a cause of catheter-related bloodstream infections

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Tsukamurellae are strictly aerobic Gram-positive rods that can be easily misidentified as Corynebacterium species, Rhodococcus species, Nocardia species, Mycobacterium species, or other Gram-positive aerobic rods. They have been uncommonly reported as a cause of different human infections, including bloodstream infections. We describe 2 new cases of catheter-related bloodstream infections (CR-BSI) caused by Tsukamurella species and review 12 similar cases reported in the literature. Conventional procedures have often misidentified Tsukamurella species as other aerobic Gram-positive rods. This misidentification could be avoided using genotyping. All cases ultimately required the withdrawal of the infected line. The literature provides no firm conclusions regarding ideal choice or duration of antimicrobial therapy for this infection. Tsukamurella species should be added to the list of agents able to produce CR-BSI. Genotypic methods such as PCR 16S rRNA can allow a reliable identification at the genus level of Tsukamurella strains faster than a combination of conventional phenotypic methods.

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We thank Thomas O’Boyle for his help in the preparation of this manuscript. Alfonso Pérez Parra MD is contracted by the Fundación para la Investigación Biomédica del Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón and Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria (FIS) CM06/00037.

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Correspondence to A. Pérez-Parra.

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Bouza, E., Pérez-Parra, A., Rosal, M. et al. Tsukamurella: a cause of catheter-related bloodstream infections. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 28, 203–210 (2009).

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