The International Journal of Mycobacteriology

: 2022  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 339--340

COVID-19 coinfection with Mycobacterium abscessus: A note

Pathum Sookaromdee1, Beuy Joob2, Viroj Wiwanitkit3,  
1 Private Academic Consultant, Bangkok, Thailand
2 Sanitation 1 Medical Academic Center, Bangkok, Thailand
3 Department of Biological Science, Joseph Ayobabalola University, Ikeji-Arakeji, Nigeria; Department of Community Medicine, Dr. DY Patil University, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Pathum Sookaromdee
Private Academic Consultant, 111 Bangkok 122, Bangkok 10330

How to cite this article:
Sookaromdee P, Joob B, Wiwanitkit V. COVID-19 coinfection with Mycobacterium abscessus: A note.Int J Mycobacteriol 2022;11:339-340

How to cite this URL:
Sookaromdee P, Joob B, Wiwanitkit V. COVID-19 coinfection with Mycobacterium abscessus: A note. Int J Mycobacteriol [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Dec 5 ];11:339-340
Available from:

Full Text

Dear Editor,

COVID-19 is an important infectious disease. The concurrent infection between COVID-19 and other common diseases is an interesting issue.[1] The clinical manifestation in the coinfection is interesting. In the area where tuberculosis is common, the coinfection between COVID-19 and tuberculosis is possible, and there might be an alteration of clinical severity due to the underlying lung problem.[2] The difficulty in imaging diagnosis is recognized, and there is usually requirement for a long-term tuberculosis therapy after recovery from COVID-19.[3] The combination between tuberculosis and COVID-19 might be more complex in cases with underlying drug-resistant tuberculosis.[4] Adding to tuberculosis, the atypical Mycobacterium infection is also possible and the COVID-19 infection in the case with underlying atypical Mycobacterium infection is interesting.

We hereby focus on an important infection, Mycobacterium abscessus. This mycobacterial infection is atypical, and drug management is usually difficult.[2] There is an increased incidence of this atypical mycobacterial infection in postvaccination abscess and becomes an interesting issue in clinical mycobacteriology.[5] The COVID-19 in case with underlying M. abscessus is possible. There is a previous report on a cancerous patient (multiple myeloma) who has both COVID-19 and M. abscessus infection.[6] Here, the authors share an experience on a case of COVID-19 and M. abscessus infection in a noncancerous old female case. The patient is a 70-year-old female working as a nurse in a medical center. In this case, she is a known case of M. abscessus infection who had diagnosed as M. abscessus infection in the lung and undergone standard M. abscessus treatment. During the COVID-19 outbreak period, the patient still works in the medical center and she contacts patients with COVID-19. She had received complete COVID-19 vaccination. Two months after she received her final dose of COVID-19 vaccine, she developed upper respiratory tract symptoms and was finally diagnosed as COVID-19 (polymerase chain reaction [PCR] cycle threshold (CT) value = 12 cycles).

The patient developed no additional lung lesion to her previous finding on lung lesion with mycobacterial problem. The patient received only symptomatic treatment with no antiviral drug and was put in isolation unit for 2 weeks. At 2 weeks, repeated PCR test for COVID-19 showed negative result. This is another example of COVID-19 among the subject with underlying atypical M. abscessus infection. In this case, the COVID-19 is mild and this might be due to a history of complete COVID-19 vaccination. The COVID-19 did also not change the clinical lung problem in this patient. Indeed, the role of bacillus Calmette–Guérin as a protective factor is also an issue that is still under discussion.[7],[8] The data in this report can further confirm the usefulness of COVID-19 vaccination for the patient with underlying chronic atypical mycobacterial infection.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1Sookaromdee P, Wiwanitkit V. COVID-19 and tropical infection: Complexity and concurrence. Adv Exp Med Biol 2021;1318:333-41.
2Yasri S, Wiwanitkit V. Tuberculosis and novel Wuhan coronavirus infection: Pathological interrelationship. Indian J Tuberc 2020;67:264.
3Patil S, Gondhali G. COVID-19 pneumonia with pulmonary tuberculosis: Double trouble. Int J Mycobacteriol 2021;10:206-9.
4Ortiz-Martinez Y, Mejia-Alzate C, Vega-Vera A, Fajardo-Rivero JE, Rodriguez-Morales AJ. Drug-resistant tuberculosis and COVID-19 co-infection: A systematic review of case reports. Int J Mycobacteriol 2021;10:214-5.
5Kavitha K, Ragunathan L, Elantheriyan P, Gopalakrishnan K, Gopala KA, Balamurugan ID, et al. The burden of mycobacteria species among children from postvaccination abscess in Southern India. Int J Mycobacteriol 2021;10:358-63.
6Rodriguez JA, Bonnano C, Khatiwada P, Roa AA, Mayer D, Eckardt PA. COVID-19 coinfection with Mycobacterium abscessus in a patient with multiple myeloma. Case Rep Infect Dis 2021;2021:8840536.
7Kumari P, Gupta UD, Bhagyawant SS. Bacillus Calmette-Guerin as a quick and temporary solution to coronavirus disease-2019. Int J Mycobacteriol 2021;10:105-10.
8Chauhan A, Singh M, Agarwal A, Jaiswal N, M Lakshmi PV, Singh M. Exploring the role of bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccination in protection against COVID-19. Int J Mycobacteriol 2021;10:433-6.