Suspected cutaneous anthrax in rural areas

  • Melike Kibar Ozturk Department of Dermatology, Umraniye Training and Research Hospital, 34760 Umraniye, Istanbul, Turkey
Keywords: anthrax, cutaneous anthrax, rural areas


Introduction: Cutaneous anthrax (CA), a zoonotic infectious disease is an important endemic public health disease in rural areas around the world, accounting for 95% of anthrax cases.

Methodology: Fifty patients with CA were diagnosed by the presence of characteristic skin lesions and positive response to treatment. Twenty-nine patients had been treated with oral ciprofloxacin or doxycyclin for 14 days and 21 patients had been treated with intramuscular procaine penicillin for 7 days. The demographic risk factors, characteristics and treatment of CA in rural areas were evaluated. The responses to two different systemic medications were compared using χ2 test.

Results: Twenty-two males and 28 females were included in this study. The predominant skin lesions were black eschar, ulcer and swelling of the skin. The predilection sites were the hand and fingers. The most common route of contamination for both male and female patients was handling raw meat. The most common occupation was housewife for female patients and animal industry for male patients. The patients under ciprofloxacin or doxycyclin administration responded better to treatment; pain at lesion site and new lesions at the time of treatment were significantly lower. Secondary infection appeared to be higher in patients under procaine penicillin administration, although this difference was not statistically significant.

Conclusions: In rural areas that lack medical facilities with diagnostic tools, in the presence of black eschar, rapid diagnosis and treatment of CA is essential. The administration of a broad-spectrum antibiotic is recommended as the first line treatment of suspected CA.

How to Cite
Kibar Ozturk M (2019) Suspected cutaneous anthrax in rural areas. J Infect Dev Ctries 13:118-122. doi: 10.3855/jidc.10318
Original Articles