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Unusual Infection in the Foot of a Barefoot Gardener

Stephen Strobel Department of Pathology, St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, Toledo, OH.

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Drew Belpedio Department of Podiatry, St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, Toledo, OH.

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Edward Sharrer Private practice, Toledo, OH.

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Linda Pepe Department of Pathology, St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, Toledo, OH.

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Scott McClellan Department of Pathology, St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, Toledo, OH.

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We report a case of an unusual and unsuspected chronic infection creating a soft-tissue mass in the foot of a 35-year-old woman. The causative agent, Mycobacterium gordonae, is usually encountered as a laboratory contaminant. Only rarely does it manifest as a clinical infection. The patient’s presumed predisposing risk factor was a history of barefoot gardening. An iatrogenic source, corticosteroid injections, was also considered. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(4): 311–313, 2008)

Corresponding author: Stephen Strobel, MD, Department of Pathology, St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, 2222 Cherry St, Toledo, OH 43608. (E-mail: stephen_strobel@mhsnr.org)