Background and Design:
A spectrum of skin lesions are believed to be secondary to the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Demonstration of M tuberculosis directly or in culture in some of these eruptions can be difficult. We used the polymerase chain reaction and a primer/ probe set specifically for M tuberculosis complex DNA to evaluate five types of skin lesions clinically considered to represent infection by, or reaction to, M tuberculosis.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA was demonstrated in paraffin-embedded sections of these five cases, representing a variety of clinical and histologic patterns. In two cases, M tuberculosis could not be demonstrated by routine cultural methods.
DNA diagnostic methods such as the polymerase chain reaction can be used to rapidly identify cutaneous lesions produced by M tuberculosis.
Penneys NS, Leonardi CL, Cook S, et al. Identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA in Five Different Types of Cutaneous Lesions by the Polymerase Chain Reaction. Arch Dermatol. 1993;129(12):1594–1598. doi:10.1001/archderm.1993.04540010072011
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