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Infections of the skin caused by mycobacteria have a wide geographical distribution. The clinical manifestations are varied and not necessarily species‐specific. Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection of the skin is often a chronic infection but may present as immunological phenomena – tuberculids. An increasing number of species are recognized as causing non‐tuberculous mycobacterial infections. Immunosuppression appears to increase the risk of some mycobacterial infections and the role of HIV and iatrogenic immune modulation are notable risk factors. Molecular diagnostics have increased the ability to identify specific organisms but prolonged antimicrobial therapy is often required.
Keywords Mycobacterium tuberculoisis, multidrug‐resistant tuberculosis, extensively drug‐resistant tuberculosis, tuberculid, non‐tuberculous mycobacteria, tuberculin skin test, interferon‐α release assays, Ziehl–Neelsen, tumour necrosis factor