Section 26
Chapter 25,626

Swimming pools as a source of non-specific tuberculin reactions

Eilertsen, E.

Scand J Resp Dis 48(3/4): 238-248


Accession: 025625467

Mycobacterium balnei was repeatedly isolated from the water of a new swimming pool in Bergen, Norway, where the water is chlorinated according to general standards. Comparative tuberculin testing with balnei and mammalian tuberculin in 2,879 children 11-14 years of age using the pool has demonstrated a definite positive reaction to balnei tuberculin in 10%. Children using the pool regularly had positive reactions 5 times more frequently than those who swam occasionally. The swimmers also had larger reactions. Three-quarters of the children showed larger reaction to balnei than to mammalian tuberculin, whereas 15% showed the reverse. Lesions of the lungs or skin were not found in the children. Swimming pool infections with M. balnei may be an important source of non-specific tuberculin reactions in population groups, even if gross lesions of the infection are not present.

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