Mycobacterium fortuitum

Mycobacterium fortuitum is a Gram-positive, immobile rod-shaped bacterium. It is a non‐tuberculous species from the strain of actinobacteria.

Mycobacterium fortuitum mainly causes nosocomial infections. Possible disease patterns include:

  • Infections of the skin and soft tissues

  • Abscesses

  • Pneumonia

  • Osteomyelitis (inflammation of the bone)

  • Infection of the artificial heart valve

  • Eye infections

Mycobacterium fortuitum is widespread worldwide. The pathogen occurs in tap water, sewage, rivers, and soils, and is able to form biofilms.

Relevance of pathogen in transmission in endoscopy

  • Gastroenterology: Not relevant

  • Pulmonology: Low

  • Ear, nose, and throat: Not relevant

  • Urology: Not relevant

Relevance for endoscope surveillance

  • Low or moderate concern organism

Transmission route

Mycobacterium fortuitum is transmitted via contaminated water or food, and in an airborne manner.

Mycobacterium fortuitum can also be spread and transmitted through water in healthcare facilities. The water used for final rinsing of endoscopes must therefore be microbiologically controlled.

Resistance to antibiotics

Mycobacterium fortuitum shows a high resistance to antibiotics.

Sources and further readings

  1. Fille M. Atypische Mykobakteriosen, 13. September 2018, Accessed on 07.30.2021.

  2. García-Coca M et al. Inhibition of Mycobacterium abscessus, M. chelonae, and M. fortuitum biofilms by Methylobacterium sp. J Antibiot (Tokyo). 2020 Jan;73(1):40–47.

  3. Gnanenthiran SR et al. Prosthetic Valve Infective Endocarditis With Mycobacterium Fortuitum: Antibiotics Alone Can Be Curative, Heart Lung Circ. 2017 Nov;26(11):e86-e89.

  4. Shen Y et al. In Vitro Susceptibility of Mycobacterium abscessus and Mycobacterium fortuitum Isolates to 30 Antibiotics, Biomed Res Int. 2018 Dec 30;2018:4902941.