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Membranous glomerulonephritis associated with Mycobacterium shimoidei pulmonary infection

Nobuhiro Kanaji, Yoshio Kushida, Shuji Bandoh, Tomoya Ishii, Reiji Haba, Akira Tadokoro, Naoki Watanabe, Takayuki Takahama, Nobuyuki Kita, Hiroaki Dobashi, Takuya Matsunaga

(Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Hematology, Rheumatology and Respiratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Kagawa University, Kagawa, Japan)

Am J Case Rep 2013; 14:543-547

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.889684


Background: Membranous glomerulonephritis can occur secondarily from infectious diseases. There are no reports describing membranous glomerulonephritis caused by non-tuberculous mycobacterium infection. However, several cases with membranous glomerulonephritis due to Mycobacterium tuberculosis have been reported. Mycobacterium shimoidei is an uncommon pathogen, and less than 20 cases with this species have been reported. A therapeutic regimen for this infection has not been established yet.
Case Report: An 83-year-old Japanese man presented with productive cough for 6 months. Computed tomography scan showed multiple cavities in the bilateral pulmonary fields. Acid-fast bacilli were evident in his sputum by Ziehl-Neelsen staining (Gaffky 3). PCR amplifications for Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Mycobacterium avium, and Mycobacterium intracellulare were all negative. Finally, Mycobacterium shimoidei was identified by rpoB sequencing and 16S rRNA sequencing. Urine examination showed a sub-nephrotic range of proteinuria and histology of the kidney showed membranous glomerulonephritis. Antimycobacterial treatment with clarithromycin, rifampicin, and ethambutol dramatically improved not only the pulmonary disease, but also the proteinuria.
Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, the presented case is the first report showing non-tuberculous mycobacterium-induced secondary membranous glomerulonephritis. A combination with clarithromycin, ethambutol, and rifampicin might be effective for treatment of Mycobacterium shimoidei infection.

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