What are the infectious causes of mastitis related to breast abscesses and masses?

Updated: Jul 27, 2020
  • Author: Andrew C Miller, MD; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Mastitis occurs in up to 33% of lactating women, with its highest incidence within 6 weeks postpartum or while weaning breast feeding. [18, 42, 43, 43] Periductal mastitis comprises 3%-4% of all benign lesions of the breast. [6] It may be associated with milk stasis caused by ineffective positioning of the baby, limited feeding, or restricted feeding. [9] Of infective mastitis cases, S aureus is the most common cause. Streptococci, enterococci, S epidermidis, Peptostreptococcus species, Prevotella species, and Escherichia coli are less common causes. True fungal mastitis is rare and should prompt evaluation for coexisting diabetes mellitus. In infants, infections with Shigella, E coli, and Klebsiella species have been reported. [22] Mastitis that is refractory to appropriate treatment should prompt evaluation for tuberculous mastitis. [12]

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