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Mycobacterium Infections Associated with Dental Clinic in Anaheim

LA Testing offers analytical services and sampling supplies to identify microbial contaminants to protect the public from exposure risks.

South Pasadena, CA – WEBWIRE

Recently, the Orange County Health Care Agency reported that 22 children have developed progressive oral cellulitis consistent with Mycobacterium abscessus infections. The children came down with the infections following dental pulpotomy procedures that took place at a dental clinic in Anaheim.

According to the agency, “Initial testing indicates that the facility’s on-site water system was the apparent source of infection. This water system is no longer being used for patient care and the facility is no longer performing pulpotomies.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that Mycobacterium abscessus is a bacterium distantly related to the ones that cause tuberculosis and leprosy. M. abscessus is part of a group of environmental mycobacteria that can be found in water, soil and dust. It has also been known to contaminate medications and products, including medical devices. The CDC reports that infections from M. abscessus are usually caused by injections of substances contaminated with the bacterium or through invasive medical procedures employing contaminated equipment or materials.

“It can take weeks to months for dental infections caused by contaminated instruments or contaminated water to cause symptoms as appears to be the case with this outbreak of dental infections,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “This is due to the organism’s long incubation period. Fortunately, a prolonged treatment with the appropriate antibiotics is usually effective for patients. This incident highlights the importance of dental and healthcare providers regularly testing their on-site water systems for microbial contaminants.”

LA Testing offers comprehensive water analysis for a wide range of microbial contaminants and pathogens. These services can help to prevent outbreaks from occurring, pinpoint the source of an outbreak if one has already taken place, and confirm the effectiveness of water treatment systems.

To learn more about water testing or other environmental, occupational, health and safety issues, please visit, email  or call (800) 755-1794. 

About LA Testing

LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, NVLAP, CDC ELITE, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including Huntington Beach, San Diego, San Leandro and South Pasadena.

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 oral cellulitis
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