May 1959

Infection with Atypical Tubercle Bacilli in Graphite Pneumoconiosis

Author Affiliations


From the Departments of Research and Laboratories and of Medicine, National Jewish Hospital at Denver, and the Departments of Pathology and Microbiology, University of Colorado School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1959;103(5):814-817. doi:10.1001/archinte.1959.00270050136021

Graphite pneumoconiosis is apparently a very rare disease in the United States, but it has been reported from other countries. Seven cases have been studied at autopsy,1-5 and only one of these was complicated with tuberculosis.5 The following patient was of interest, not only because he acquired graphite pneumoconiosis as a miner in this country but because he was subjected to pulmonary lobectomy for an infection with atypical tubercle bacilli. These organisms were classified with nonchromogenic mycobacteria, those which are not ordinary human pathogens. Infections with similar organisms as well as with atypical photochromogenic acid-fast organisms have been reported in association with silicosis.6-8

Report of Case  A 52-year-old white man was admitted to the National Jewish Hospital on June 19, 1954. He had worked in a graphite mine in Texas for nine years between 1919 and 1928. Mining was done by the dry process for two years

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