Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to a funeral director during routine embalming

Chest. 2001 Feb;119(2):640-2. doi: 10.1378/chest.119.2.640.


Several studies have shown that funeral directors have an increased risk of tuberculosis (TB). Although there is indirect evidence of transmission of TB from cadavers to mortuary workers, there is only one recently documented case in the literature. We report here another case of occupationally acquired TB in a funeral director, which was confirmed by conventional epidemiology and genotyping. This case illustrates the risk of TB transmission to mortuary workers from routine embalming of deceased TB patients with active disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibiotics, Antitubercular / pharmacology
  • DNA Fingerprinting
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Embalming* / methods
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / classification
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / drug effects
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / isolation & purification
  • Occupational Diseases / microbiology*
  • Rifampin / pharmacology
  • Tuberculosis / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis / transmission*


  • Antibiotics, Antitubercular
  • Rifampin