Outbreak of Furunculosis (Boil) in Nail Salon Using Footbaths

Title: An outbreak of mycobacterial furunculosis associated with footbaths at a nail salon
: Winthrop KL, et al.
Publication: N Engl J Med. 2002 May 2;346(18):1366-71.

In September 2000, doctors in northern California described 4 patients with persistent boils in the legs, below the knee. These patients had all received pedicures at the same nail salon.

The authors conducted the initial study on 48 patients with boil and 56 unaffected families and friends who had had pedicure at the same salon as healthy control. The authors cultured a particular type of bacteria called Mycobacterium fortuitum (or M. fortuitum) from patients who had visited the nail salon.

After the initial discovery of the 48 patients, the authors identified more people who In total, the authors identified 110 customers from the salon who had boil. Cultures from 34 patients were positive for the fast-growing mycobacteria (most are of the M. fortuitum strain).

Most of the affected patients had more than 1 boil (median of 2 boils, some with as little as 1 and as many as 37). All patients had had whirlpool footbaths. The authors identified shaving the legs with a razor before footbath as a risk for infection (70% of the patients with boil did this, versus just 30% of the healthy control).

Cultured from all 10 footbaths at the salon were positive for M. fortuitum. The authors further identified that the same strain of M. fortuitum was found from 3 footbaths and 14 patients.

In conclusion, the authors had identified rapidly growing mycobacterial infection in people who had had footbaths and pedicures at a nail salon. They noted that doctors should suspect this as a cause for persistent boil after whirlpool footbaths.

Main Menu
Health Articles
Health News
Health Research
Site Map

Health Conditions
Cardiovascular Health
Digestive Health
Infectous Diseases
Musculoskeletal Health
Pregnancy & Childbirth
Skin Health

Misc. Health Articles
Presidential Diseases

Medical Research

Boil (Furuncle or Furunculosis)
Boil Overview
Research Summaries
Furuncle Pictures

©copyright 2004 - Health In Plain English. All Rights Reserved.

Health Articles Health News Health Research Explained in Plain English