Tattoo ink found to be source of M. chelonae outbreak

August 23, 2012

(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.

Explore further: Tattoos linked to rare skin infection in US

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

Related Stories

Tattoos linked to rare skin infection in US

August 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.

Recommended for you

Researchers thwart cancer cells by triggering 'virus alert'

August 27, 2015

Working with human cancer cell lines and mice, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and elsewhere have found a way to trigger a type of immune system "virus alert" that may one day boost cancer patients' ...

0 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.