Accession Number:

ADA523390

Title:

Cluster of Nontuberculous Mycobacteria Skin Infections from Tattoos

Descriptive Note:

Technical Paper

Corporate Author:

AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB BROOKS CITY-BASE TX HUMAN PERFORMANCE WING (711TH)

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2010-07-01

Pagination or Media Count:

9.0

Abstract:

In July 2008, the owner of a local tattoo parlor notified the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District SAMHD about 11 people who had developed adverse reactions shortly after receiving tattoos. Customers reported a constellation of symptoms of prolonged, erythematous, papular eruptions that were localized only to the gray shaded portions of their tattoos. An investigation conducted by SAMHD revealed these eruptions to be nontuberculous mycobacteria NTM skin infections caused by contaminated ink. The NTM organisms discovered from tissue cultures were M. abcessus and M. chelonae. NTM skin infections are not only difficult to diagnose, they are difficult to treat. After 6 months, 6 of the 11 patients still had a persistent, papular rash in the gray portion of their tattoo, 2 had complete resolution of their initial dermatologic condition, and 3 could not be contacted for followup. To reduce the incidence of adverse reactions, tattooing may need to be more carefully regulated. Perhaps at the state andor federal level, tattoo artists could be askedrequired to receive annual training they already receive initial training in the field of infection controlsterile technique while practicing their art. This would be in similar fashion to physicians being required to earn continuing medical education in their own fields.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Microbiology

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE