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Free Content Non-respiratory tuberculosis with Mycobacterium tuberculosis after penetrating lesions of the skin: five case histories [Case Study]

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Tuberculosis is primarily transmitted from person to person via the respiratory route. We describe five cases of patients who developed tuberculosis at the site of a skin injury: three after being treated repeatedly with local corticosteroids via intramuscular injections, and two who cut themselves accidentally with a knife. All cultures yielded normal-sensitive Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and all patients responded well to anti-tuberculosis treatment. These unusual manifestations of non-respiratory tuberculosis may support the assumption that persistent, painful, reddish and/or fistulous areas of the skin might also indicate an infection caused by M. tuberculosis, via either reactivation of pulmonary tuberculosis or primary infection with M. tuberculosis by cutaneous transmission.
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Keywords: non-respiratory tuberculosis; primary cutaneous transmission; reactivation

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: 1: Department of Internal Medicine, Cardiology and Pulmonology, St. Lucas Hospital, Winschoten, The Netherlands 2: Department of Tuberculosis, Beatrixoord Haren, The Netherlands

Publication date: 2000-12-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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