Skip to content

Advertisement

You're viewing the new version of our site. Please leave us feedback.

Learn more

BMC Research Notes

Open Access

Mycobacterium iranicum bacteremia and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis: a case report

BMC Research Notes201710:372

https://doi.org/10.1186/s13104-017-2684-8

Received: 27 April 2017

Accepted: 22 July 2017

Published: 8 August 2017

Abstract

Background

Mycobacterium iranicum has recently been recognised as an opportunistic human pathogen. Although infectious conditions represent frequent triggers for hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, non-tuberculous mycobacterial infections are rarely associated with this entity. To this date, M. iranicum infection has never been reported in France, has never been associated with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis and has never been found to be multi-resistant on standardized antimicrobial susceptibility testing.

Case presentation

We report a case of a French Caucasian man with secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis in the context of M. iranicum bacteraemia and Hodgkin’s disease. We review available data concerning M. iranicum antimycobacterial susceptibility testing and treatment outcomes. We also review the association between hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis and non-tuberculous mycobacterial infections.

Conclusion

Interpretation of M. iranicum positive cultures remains a clinical challenge and non-tuberculous mycobacterial infections need to be considered in secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis differential diagnosis.

Keywords

Mycobacterium iranicum Non-tuberculous mycobacteriaHemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis

Background

The American Thoracic Society published clear guidelines of the diagnosis and management guidelines of non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) pulmonary infections [1]. On the other hand, interpretation of NTM positive cultures obtained from non-respiratory specimens is challenging as mycobacterial species and clinical presentations vary greatly. Mycobacterium iranicum was recognized as new species in 2013 [2, 3]. Eight human isolates having been retrieved from both healthy and immunocompromised patients were initially reported. These isolates were obtained from specimens including sputum, soft-tissue and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in six different countries [2]. Since then, cases of catheter-related peritonitis in a patient with chronic kidney disease, pulmonary infection in a Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patient and septic arthritis in a patient with diabetes further confirmed the true pathogenic potential of M. iranicum [46]. In many cases of M. iranicum positive cultures, no treatment was initiated even though M. iranicum had been isolated in critical specimens such as CSF.

We report a case of M. iranicum bacteraemia with associated hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) in an immunocompromised patient.

Case presentation

In July 2016, a 55-year-old French Caucasian man was hospitalized with a 2-week history of fever and weight loss. The patient had no prior medical history of immunosuppression or end-organ disease. Initial clinical evaluation and biological investigations yielded a diagnosis of secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) fulfilling the HLH-2004 diagnosis criteria [7]. Signs and symptoms included a 40 °C fever, splenomegaly, bi-cytopenia with 8.9 g/dL (N 13.4–16.7 g/dL) haemoglobin and 2.7 g/dL (N 4.0–11.0 g/dL) leucocytes counts, 2.5 g/L (N 0.4–1.5 g/L) hypertriglyceridemia and 8188 μg/L (N 15–100 μg/L) hyperferritinemia. An extended infectious disease work-up was performed to rule out the presence of various HLH associated infections and came back negative for HIV, Epstein–Barr virus, Cytomegalovirus, Hepatitis B virus, Hepatitis C virus and Human Herpes 8 viruses. Routine bacterial cultures were also negative but the investigation revealed M. iranicum bloodstream infection and a new diagnosis of Hodgkin’s disease.

Mycobacterium iranicum was isolated from a Bact/ALERT™ (bioMérieux, France) mycobacterial blood culture. Following sub-culture on Löwenstein–Jensen and positive pan-mycobacterial internal transcribed sequence confirmation polymerase chain reaction (PCR), matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionisation time-of-flight mass-spectrometry (MALDI-TOF–MS) and rpoB gene sequencing-based identification was performed per local identification protocols [8, 9]. Generated proteomic profile did not match in local MALDI-TOF–MS database and rpoB gene sequence showed 99.0% similarity with M. iranicum strain NLA001001296 (GenBank Accession No. JQ906698.1). Control mycobacterial blood cultures were then obtained and venous catheter was removed and cultivated according to published guidelines [10]. Sputum and urine mycobacterial culture were also obtained. These complementary analyses failed to confirm persistent or disseminated M. iranicum bacteremia or catheter-associated bloodstream infection. The patient reported no travel history, animal exposure or other atypical epidemiologic risk factor or environmental exposure. Since no M. iranicum isolates were concomitantly handled in our laboratory at the time specimens were obtained, in-laboratory cross contamination is highly improbable. Broth dilution antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed per published Clinical Laboratory Standard Institute guidelines [11] and showed the isolate to be resistant to clarithromycin, ethambutol, rifabutin and trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole.

Concomitantly, a diagnosis of stage four Hodgkin’s disease was established on lymph node biopsy and positron emission tomography-scan imaging. Urgent high dose corticosteroids followed by Bleomycin, Etoposide, Adriamycin, Cyclophosphamide, Oncovorin, Procarbazine, Prednisone (BEACOPP) chemotherapy were therefore initiated.

Interpreting whether M. iranicum bacteraemia was a trigger for HLH and what was its contribution to the clinical findings was found to be challenging since previous studies established that the isolation of this organism in critical specimens such as CSF may not always require treatment [2]. Since both infectious conditions including disseminated mycobacterial disease and neoplasia including haematological malignancies are recognised triggers of HLH [12] empiric antimycobacterial therapy was highly considered. Patient was followed closely with serial microbiologic investigations. Upon submission of this manuscript, initial HLH biological features had regressed, the patient hadn’t received any anti-mycobacterial treatment, was still alive and undergoing chemotherapy treatment at our institution.

Discussion

Both phylogenomic and hsp65, rpoB or 16S rRNA gene targeted phylogenetic analyses have showed M. iranicum to be closely related to environmental and rarely pathogenic mycobacterial species [13]. M. iranicum was also subsequently isolated from human residential immediate environment [14]. The M. iranicum isolate here reported, is the first to be identified in France.

Three to 6 months’ course treatments of aminoglycosides, fluoroquinolones and tetracyclins have been used with success in the management of M. iranicum infections in the past [2]. The here reported isolate is the first to present a multi-drug resistance phenotype. M. iranicum is believed to have acquired multiple drug resistance genes by horizontal transfer [13]. These include ermE which encodes for a multidrug resistance efflux pump in Escherichia coli as well as genes coding for metallo-beta-lactamase and macrolide glycosyltransferase. Expression of these resistance mechanisms could partly account for this newly encountered multi-drug resistance profile.

Infections and haematological malignancies are reported as the most common causes of adult HLH. Among the infection induced cases, Epstein–Barr virus is the most frequently reported pathogen [12]. Tuberculosis-associated HLH has frequently been reported especially with disseminated or extra-pulmonary infections. Among these cases, mortality averages 50% and anti-tuberculous or immunomodulatory treatments seem to have no impact on the prognosis [15, 16]. We reviewed every published case of non-tuberculous mycobacterial infections with associated HLH syndrome (Table 1). This rare association seems to occur among patients with underlying immune disorder and organ limited or disseminated mycobacterial infections.
Table 1

Non-tuberculous mycobacteria associated hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis

 

Mycobacterial species

Age

Sex

Infection site

Immune disorder

HLH-2004 criteria [7]

Outcome

Yang et al. [17]

M. avium complex

15

F

Pulmonary

Systemic lupus erythematous

Yes

Recovery

Chamsi-Pasha et al. [18]

M. avium complex

22

F

Pulmonary

Sickle cell anemia

Yes

Death

Katagiri et al. [19]

M. abscessus

58

M

Disseminated

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Yes

Recovery

Chou et al. [20]

M. kansasii

60

F

Disseminated

None

Yes

Recovery

Javier et al. [21]

M. xenopi

N/A

N/A

Disseminated

HIV

Yes

Death

Thomas et al. [22]

M. lentiflavum

65

M

Disseminated

Heart transplant

Yes

Death

This case

M. iranicum

55

M

Bloodstream

Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Yes

Recovery

Conclusion

M ycobacterium iranicum is a newly recognized species which has been described as a human pathogen in both immunocompromised and previously healthy patients. Although infrequent, mycobacterial infections need to be considered in the context of unexplained hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis and M. iranicum is amongst the few reported NTM species to be associated with this syndrome. The interpretation of a positive M. iranicum culture is challenging, and such is the management of a confirmed M. iranicum infection case. Optimal management should be discussed in a multidisciplinary team including both medical microbiologists and infectious diseases specialist as clinical evolution may be unfavourable and antimicrobial resistance may be encountered.

Abbreviations

BEACOOPP: 

Bleomycin, Etoposide, Adriamycin, Cyclophosphamide, Oncovorin, Procarbazine, Prednisone

CSF: 

cerebrospinal fluid

HIV: 

human immunodeficiency syndrome

HLH: 

hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis

MALDI-TOF: 

matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight

NTM: 

non-tuberculous mycobacteria

PCR: 

polyerase chain reaction

URMITE: 

Unité de recherche sur les maladies infectieuses tropicale et émergentes

Declarations

Authors’ contributions

All cited authors qualify for authorship according to the ICMJE guidelines. SGL reviewed medical chart and microbiology data and was a major contribution in writing the manuscript. AT was implicated in clinical care of the patient and was a minor contribution in writing the manuscript. MD overviewed the microbiological analyses and was a minor contribution in writing the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Acknowledgements

Not applicable.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Availability of data and materials

All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article. Personal patient data supporting this manuscript are protected by the patient chart and laboratory information systems of our institution.

Consent for publication

Written informed consent was obtained from the patient for publication of this Case Report and any accompanying images.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

The need for ethics approval was waived for this work (anonymous case report).

Funding

This work was supported by URMITE, IHU Méditerranée Infection, Marseille, France.

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Aix-Marseille Université, URMITE, UMR CNRS 7278, IRD 198, INSERM 1095, IHU-Méditerranée Infection
(2)
Centre Hospitalier de Martigues

References

  1. Griffith DE, Aksamit T, Brown-Elliott BA, Catanzaro A, Daley C, Gordin F, Holland SM, Horsburgh R, Huitt G, Iademarco MF, et al. An official ATS/IDSA statement: diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of nontuberculous mycobacterial diseases. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2007;175(4):367–416.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Shojaei H, Daley C, Gitti Z, Hashemi A, Heidarieh P, Moore ER, Naser AD, Russo C, van Ingen J, Tortoli E. Mycobacterium iranicum sp. nov., a rapidly growing scotochromogenic species isolated from clinical specimens on three different continents. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2013;63(Pt 4):1383–9.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Balakrishnan N, Tortoli E, Engel SL, Breitschwerdt EB. Isolation of a novel strain of Mycobacterium iranicum from a woman in the United States. J Clin Microbiol. 2013;51(2):705–7.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  4. Hashemi-Shahraki A, Heidarieh P, Azarpira S, Shojaei H, Hashemzadeh M, Tortoli E. Mycobacterium iranicum infection in HIV-infected patient, Iran. Emerg Infect Dis. 2013;19(10):1696–7.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Inagaki K, Mizutani M, Nagahara Y, Asano M, Masamoto D, Sawada O, Aono A, Chikamatsu K, Mitarai S. Successful treatment of peritoneal dialysis-related peritonitis due to Mycobacterium iranicum. Intern Med. 2016;55(14):1929–31.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Tan EM, Tande AJ, Osmon DR, Wilson JW. Mycobacterium iranicum septic arthritis and tenosynovitis. J Clin Tuberc Other Mycobact Dis. 2017;2017(8):16–7.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
  7. Henter JI, Horne A, Arico M, Egeler RM, Filipovich AH, Imashuku S, Ladisch S, McClain K, Webb D, Winiarski J, et al. HLH-2004: diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines for hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2007;48(2):124–31.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Zingue D, Flaudrops C, Drancourt M. Direct matrix-assisted laser desorption ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry identification of mycobacteria from colonies. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2016;35(12):1983–7.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Adekambi T, Colson P, Drancourt M. rpoB-based identification of nonpigmented and late-pigmenting rapidly growing mycobacteria. J Clin Microbiol. 2003;41(12):5699–708.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  10. Mermel LA, Allon M, Bouza E, Craven DE, Flynn P, O’Grady NP, Raad II, Rijnders BJ, Sherertz RJ, Warren DK. Clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis and management of intravascular catheter-related infection: 2009 Update by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Clin Infect Dis. 2009;49(1):1–45.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  11. CLSI. Susceptibility Testing of Mycobacteria, Nocardiae, and other Aerobic Actinomycetes; approved standard. 2nd ed. Wayne: Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute; 2011.Google Scholar
  12. Otrock ZK, Eby CS. Clinical characteristics, prognostic factors, and outcomes of adult patients with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. Am J Hematol. 2015;90(3):220–4.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Tan JL, Ngeow YF, Wee WY, Wong GJ, Ng HF, Choo SW. Comparative genomic analysis of Mycobacterium iranicum UM_TJL against representative mycobacterial species suggests its environmental origin. Sci Rep. 2014;4:7169.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  14. Lymperopoulou DS, Coil DA, Schichnes D, Lindow SE, Jospin G, Eisen JA, Adams RI. Draft genome sequences of eight bacteria isolated from the indoor environment: Staphylococcus capitis strain H36, S. capitis strain H65, S. cohnii strain H62, S. hominis strain H69, Microbacterium sp. strain H83, Mycobacterium iranicum strain H39, Plantibacter sp. strain H53, and Pseudomonas oryzihabitans strain H72. Stand Genomic Sci. 2017;12:17.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  15. Balkis MM, Bazzi L, Taher A, Salem Z, Uthman I, Kanj N, Boulos FI, Kanj SS. Severe hemophagocytic syndrome developing after treatment initiation for disseminated Mycobacterium tuberculosis: case report and literature review. Scand J Infect Dis. 2009;41(6–7):535–7.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Brastianos PK, Swanson JW, Torbenson M, Sperati J, Karakousis PC. Tuberculosis-associated haemophagocytic syndrome. Lancet Infect Dis. 2006;6(7):447–54.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Yang WK, Fu LS, Lan JL, Shen GH, Chou G, Tseng CF, Chi CS. Mycobacterium avium complex-associated hemophagocytic syndrome in systemic lupus erythematosus patient: report of one case. Lupus. 2003;12(4):312–6.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Chamsi-Pasha MA, Alraies MC, Alraiyes AH, Hsi ED. Mycobacterium avium complex-associated hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis in a sickle cell patient: an unusual fatal association. Case Rep Hematol. 2013;2013:291518.PubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar
  19. Katagiri S, Yoshizawa S, Gotoh M, Nakamura I, Ohyashiki K. Case report; disseminated Mycobacterium abscessus infection with hemophagocytic syndrome during treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Nihon Naika Gakkai Zasshi. 2014;103(3):734–7.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Chou YH, Hsu MS, Sheng WH, Chang SC. Disseminated Mycobacterium kansasii infection associated with hemophagocytic syndrome. Int J Infect Dis. 2010;14(3):e262–4.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Javier Nuno F, Noval J, Llorente R, Viejo G. Hemophagocytic syndrome associated with cytomegalovirus and Mycobacterium xenopi disseminated disease in a patient infected by the human immunodeficiency virus who had a fatal outcome. Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin. 2000;18(2):96–7.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Thomas G, Hraiech S, Dizier S, Weiller PJ, Ene N, Serratrice J, Secq V, Ambrosi P, Drancourt M, Roch A, et al. Disseminated Mycobacterium lentiflavum responsible for hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis in a man with a history of heart transplantation. J Clin Microbiol. 2014;52(8):3121–3.View ArticlePubMedPubMed CentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright

© The Author(s) 2017

Advertisement