Outbreak of acupuncture-associated cutaneous Mycobacterium abscessus infections.

Tang P, Walsh S, Murray C, Alterman C, Varia M, Broukhanski G, Chedore P, DeKoven J, Assaad D, Gold WL, Ghazarian D, Finkelstein M, Pritchard M, Yaffe B, Jamieson F, Henry B, Phillips E
J Cutan Med Surg. 2006 10 (4): 166-9

PMID: 17234114 · DOI:10.2310/7750.2006.00041

BACKGROUND - Cutaneous atypical mycobacterial infections have been increasingly described in association with cosmetic and alternative procedures.

OBJECTIVE - We report an outbreak of acupuncture-associated mycobacteriosis. Between April and December 2002, 32 patients developed cutaneous mycobacteriosis after visiting an acupuncture practice in Toronto, Canada.

RESULTS - Of 23 patients whose lesions were biopsied, 6 (26.1%) had culture-confirmed infection with Mycobacterium abscessus. These isolates were genetically indistinguishable by amplified fragment length polymorphism. The median incubation period was 1 month. Of 24 patients for whom clinical information was available, 23 (95.8%) had resolution of their infection. All patients developed residual scarring or hyperpigmentation.

CONCLUSION - Nontuberculous mycobacteria should be recognized as an emerging, but preventable, cause of acupuncture-associated infections.

MeSH Terms (15)

Acupuncture Therapy Adult Aged Aged, 80 and over Disease Outbreaks Female Humans Infection Control Male Middle Aged Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous Needles Ontario Retrospective Studies Skin Diseases, Bacterial

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