Anaerobic acid fast bacilli (AFB) have not been previously reported in clinical microbiology. This is the second case report of a novel anaerobic AFB causing disease in humans.

Case presentation:

An anaerobic AFB was isolated from an abdominal wall abscess in a 64–year-old Caucasian diabetic male, who underwent distal pancreatectomy and splenectomy for resection of a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour. The isolated bacteria were gram-variable and acid-fast, consisting of small irregular rods. The 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis showed that the isolate is a novel organism described in the literature only once before. The organism was studied at the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) by the same group that worked with the isolates from the previous report; their findings suggest that the strain belongs to the suborder Corynebacterineae.


This is the fifth reported case of an anaerobic AFB involved in clinical disease; its microbiological features and 16S RNA sequence are identical to previously reported cases. Clinical disease with this organism seems to be associated with recent history of surgery and abscess formation in deep soft tissues. Acquisition from surgical material is uncertain but seems unlikely.


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