Journal of Cytology
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Year : 2000  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 173-179

Diagnosis of human anthrax on cytology - A report of four cases in an epidemic outbreak

1 Shankara Community Health Centre, H.D. Kote Taluk, Mysore District, Karnataka State, India
2 Anand Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Bangalore, Karnataka State, India

Correspondence Address:
Desu Sridevi
Shankara Community Health Centre, Kenchanahalli, Shanthinagar Post, HD Kote Taluk, Mysore District - 571 116. Karnataka State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Anthrax is primarily a zoonotic disease. Human anthrax is fairly rare and occurs as sporadic cases or epidemic outbreaks. Clinical forms include cutaneous, pulmonary, intestinal and rarely meningeal types. Epidemics consist of a mixture of all the clinical forms and are usually associated with high fatality rates. Early diagnosis and prompt institution of antibiotic therapy and disease control measures are imperative for reducing the mortality. While isolation in culture media or serological methods are the standard modes of diagnosis, cytology is not a known method of diagnosis. Four cases of cutaneous and intestinal anthrax, which were part of an epidemic outbreak in Karnataka state, India, initially diagnosed on cytology and later confirmed by microbiological techniques are described here. Cytology of effusion fluids and FNA of lymphnodes offer a reliable and rapid method of preliminary diagnosis of human anthrax.

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