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Clinical Note
October 20, 2008

Primary Tuberculosis of the Oral Cavity in an Elderly Nonimmunosuppressed Patient: Case Report and Review of the Literature

Author Affiliations

Author Affilations: Department of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery (Drs W. Smolka, Iizuka, and K. Smolka) and Department of Clinical Histopathology and Diagnostics, Institute of Pathology (Dr Burger), University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2008;134(10):1107-1109. doi:10.1001/archotol.134.10.1107

Tuberculosis (TB) is a chronic infectious granulomatous disease that is caused in human beings by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and, less frequently, by Mycobacterium bovis. Atypical mycobacteria have also been recognized.1 Tuberculosis has been a worldwide health problem for centuries. Although the prevalence of TB was reduced decades ago, the number of cases started increasing again because of the epidemic of human immunodeficiency virus infection and the development of multidrug-resistant species of the bacteria.2 Patients who are immunocompromised have a much higher incidence of oral lesions. These lesions are commonly caused by atypical forms of bacteria such as Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare.3

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