IN 1978, Sompolinsky and his colleagues reported the isolation of a previously unrecognised atypical mycobacterium from a granulomatous skin lesion of an immunosuppressed patient. These workers found that haemin was a required factor for growth of this organism and therefore proposed that the organism be named In common with the two other atypical mycobacteria that are capable of causing skin lesions, and , this organism has an optimum growth temperature lower than that of and in fact grows poorly, if at all, at 35°C.

Before the recognition of , five cases of skin infection apparently caused by a mycobacterium were observed in immunosuppressed patients in one Sydney hospital (Mezo , 1979). The organism failed to grow on Löwenstein-Jensen or other media commonly used for the isolation of mycobacteria. However, from three of the five patients a mycobacterium was isolated on Löwenstein-Jensen medium supplemented with ferric ammonium citrate. A similar organism was isolated from the skin of an immunosuppressed patient in another Sydney hospital (Walder , 1976). Dawson and Jennis (1980) consider that all four isolates are identical with

This paper describes the pathogenic effects of in predniso-lone-treated mice infected experimentally and compares the main features of the naturally occurring disease in man with the artificial disease produced in mice.


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