[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vertebral osteomyelitis caused by non-tuberculous mycobacteria is a rare disease, with only 31 cases and one nosocomial outbreak reported in the literature (MedLine review between 1965 and December 2003). The clinical features are often indistinguishable from those of pyogenic osteomyelitis. Early diagnosis of such infections is a major challenge because of the slow growth of these microorganisms. No consensus guidelines for the treatment of these infections exist. Prolonged anti-mycobacterial therapy in combination with surgical debridement is recommended.