Oculocutaneous anthrax: detection and treatment
Sarada David1, Jayanthi Peter1, Renu Raju2, P Padmaja2, Promila Mohanraj2
1Department of Ophthalmology, Schell Eye Hospital, Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore, India; 2Department of Microbiology, Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore, India
Abstract: Anthrax, a zoonotic disease that primarily affects herbivores, has received recent attention as a potential agent of bioterrorism. We report a patient who presented with a 4-day history of pain, watering and difficulty in opening the left upper and lower eyelids, and fever. Clinical examination revealed brawny nonpitting edema with serosanguinous discharge. The history of the death of his sheep 1 week prior to the illness provided the clue to the diagnosis. Although standard cultures of the blood and the serous fluid from the lesion were negative, probably as a result of prior treatment, the diagnosis of cutaneous anthrax was made by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test of the serous fluid. Serial photographs demonstrating resolution of the lesion with appropriate antibiotic therapy are presented.
Keywords: anthrax, polymerase chain reaction, treatment
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