Between July 1987 and January 1988, five patients dialyzed at a hemodialysis outpatient clinic developed systemic Mycobacterium chelonae abscessus (MCA) infections. Four of the five patients had arteriovenous graft infections, and two died during antimicrobial therapy. Case-patients were more likely than control-patients to have received high-flux dialysis during the 6 mo before their infection (100% vs. 30%, P = .009). MCA was cultured from the hose connected to a water spray device used for manual reprocessing of high-flux but not regular dialyzers. Renalin was the germicide used to manually disinfect dialyzers for reuse and was prepared at a concentration of 2.5%. Laboratory studies documented survival of MCA from two high-flux dialyzers that were reprocessed in a manner similar to that used in the clinic. Early diagnosis with complete rather than partial graft removal in combination with antimicrobial therapy is recommended for MCA graft infections. In addition, 2.5% Renalin did not appear to ensure complete killing of MCA in high-flux dialyzers that were manually reprocessed at this hemodialysis clinic.
Lowry PW, Beck-Sague CM, Bland LA, Aguero SM, Arduino MJ, Minuth AN, Murray RA, Swenson JM, Jarvis WR
J. Infect. Dis. 1990 Jan;161(1):85-90