Isolation of Mycobacterium and Other Microorganism from Skin Infectious in Children During Bam Earthquake

Background: The Bam earthquake in southeastern Iran turned an ancient city to dust, killing thousands and destroying 80% of all infrastructures. More than 30,000 people died and It left some 100,000 people homeless. Direct contact with polluted water increases the risk of infection, particularly wound infections, cellulitis, dermatitis, conjunctivitis, and ear, nose and throat infections. The prevalence of NTM (non-tuberculosis mycobacteria) is difficult to obtain. The aim of this study was isolation of bacteria and mycobacterial agents especially atypical species from dermal lesions of children in Bam earthquake. Materials and methods: In this descriptive study, 88 children settled in camps in 2004 were enrolled. Samples from dermal lesions of children were obtained and transported with middle brook 7H9 and Brain Heart (BH) media to laboratory for isolation of mycobacterial agents and other bacteria. For isolation of mycobacterium, after decontamination and acid-fast staining, they had been cultured in Lewenstein-Jensen medium. Having isolated mycobacteria by differential tests their antibiotic resistance and susceptibility were studied. Meanwhile, other bacteria were identified by staining and culturing in standard media. Results: The study population included 32 girls and 56 boys. Of 88 samples, 3 mycobacteria were isolated (3.4%) of which 2 were M. chelonae (rapidly growing) and 1 was M. scrofulaceum (slowly growing). The most common isolated bacteria were E.coli (41%) and Coagulase negative staphylococcous (38%). Conclusion: Infectious disease epidemics may play a role in the post disaster period. Since atypical mycobacteria exist in soil, and some cases were reported from Iran, isolation of these microorganisms is of utmost importance especially in children after a disaster such as earthquake.