Tattoo ink found to be source of M. chelonae outbreak

(HealthDay)—Premixed tattoo ink has been found to be the source of an outbreak of Mycobacterium chelonae in 19 patients in Rochester, N.Y., according to a study published online Aug. 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Byron S. Kennedy, M.D., Ph.D., from the Monroe County Department of Public Health in Rochester, N.Y., and colleagues analyzed data from patient interviews and conducted histopathological testing of skin-biopsy specimens with acid-fast bacilli smears and microbial cultures. DNA sequencing was performed as well as cultures of the ink and ingredients used in the preparation and packaging of ink. Tattoo parlor water and faucets were also assessed.

The researchers found that a persistent, raised erythematous rash developed in the tattoo area of 19 people (13 men and six women; average age, 35 years) within three weeks of receiving a tattoo from a single artist who used premixed gray ink. Abnormalities in skin-biopsy specimens were present in all 17 patients biopsied. Mycobacterium chelonae was found in 14 patients and confirmed with DNA sequencing. With appropriate , the condition improved in 18 of the 19 patients.

"The premixed ink was the common source of infection in this ," the authors write.

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

Tattoos linked to rare skin infection in US

date Aug 10, 2011

At least two men may have come down with a rare bacterial skin infection that is hard to treat with antibiotics after getting tattoos at a store in Seattle, US health authorities said Wednesday.

New ink makes tattoos less permanent

date Dec 30, 2006

Scientists at two U.S. universities developed a solution to make tattoos less permanent -- an ink that can be removed with a single laser treatment.

How tattoos 'move' with age

date Apr 28, 2011

The dyes which are injected into the skin to create tattoos move with time – permanently altering the look of a given design. In this month’s Mathematics Today Dr Ian Eames, a Reader in Fluid Mechanics ...

Chemicals in tattoo inks need closer scrutiny

date Mar 14, 2005

As tattoos have grown in popularity, so have complaints of adverse side effects associated with both their application and removal. A new study, done by chemistry students at Northern Arizona University, looked at the chemical ...

Nokia feels out haptic feedback tattoo system for phones

date Mar 20, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- Nokia, the Finnish smartphone maker, has filed a patent for a haptic communication system where tattoos will send you vibrations so you know who is calling. Your ferromagnetic ink tattoo would ...

Recommended for you

HLA expression tied to penile cancer outcomes

date 9 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) expression appears to be tied to clinical outcomes in penile cancer, according to a study published in the April issue of The Journal of Urology.

Study points to potential new lung cancer therapy

date 9 hours ago

New findings about regulation of PD-L1, a protein that allows cancer to evade the immune system, has shown therapeutic promise for several cancers, including the most common form of lung cancer.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.