Mycobacterium fortuitum on blood agar. Cultivated 9 days in an aerobic
Mycobacterium fortuitum has a worldwide distribution and can be found in natural and processed water, sewage, and dirt.
It is uncommon for it to cause lung disease. M. fortuitum can cause local cutaneous disease, osteomyelitis (inflammation of the bone), joint infections, and occular disease after trauma. It is a rare cause of lymphadenitis.
M. fortuitum can be a nosocomial (hospital acquired) disease. Surgical sites may become infected after the wound is exposed directly or indirectly to contaminated tap water. Other possible sources of M. fortuitum infection include implanted devices such as catheters, injection site abscesses, and contaminated endoscopes.