Cutaneous anthrax in Turkey: a review of 32 cases

Oncul O., Ozsoy M., Gul H., Kocak N., Cavuslu S., Pahsa A.

SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, vol.34, no.6, pp.413-416, 2002 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Anthrax, caused by the Gram-positive, rod-shaped, spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is rarely seen in industrialized nations but is common in developing countries. Cutaneous anthrax accounts for 95% of cases and usually develops on exposed sites. This study reviews the clinical and laboratory findings of 32 patients diagnosed with cutaneous anthrax over a 4-y period in the eastern part of Turkey. All patients had a history of direct contact with infected animals. The patients, aged 6-72 y, comprised 17 (53%) males and 15 (47%) females. The most frequent localization site of skin lesions was the hands and fingers (31 patients), whereas the suborbital part of the face was invaded in 1 patient. The diagnosis was made as a result of typical clinical lesions, direct microscopy or bacterial isolation. All but 2 patients were successfully treated with penicillin; these other 2 patients were treated initially with sulbactam-ampicillin. All patients, including the patient with suborbital anthrax, were cured.