50 cases of skin or musculoskeletal infections worldwide have been detected in people treated with acupuncture. 80 cases of patients affected by the hepatitis B virus have been associated with the use of acupuncture.

A group of scientists from the Department of Microbiology at the University of Hong Kong warn about the risk of developing microbacterial infections with the use of acupuncture, in an editorial published in the journal British Medical Journal. They have proven that by penetrating several centimeters under the skin, the needles can inoculate infections in the human body and transmit them from one patient to another.

Patrick Woo, professor and author of the article, points out that one can speak of a new clinical syndrome, acupuncture microbacteriosis, whose main cause is a rapid growth of mycobacteria.

Professor Woo's team, after analyzing different investigations, identified about 50 cases of people who had suffered skin or musculoskeletal infections, all over the world, after receiving acupuncture sessions, between 5 and 10% of these people died. , while a similar percentage were affected by serious sequelae such as necrotizing fasciitis, paraplegia and various organ failures.

In addition to microbacterial infections, the researchers detected about 80 patients infected with the hepatitis B virus that, in most cases, had been infected because the needles used in the acupuncture treatment were not properly sterilized.

To prevent these cases, Professor Woo advises the use of disposable needles, proceed to disinfect the patient's skin, and maintain adequate asepsis both in the place where the acupuncture session is performed, and in the maintenance of all materials needed in this technique; as well as establish a stricter legislation, and request greater requirements to accredit the professionals.

Mayo Clinic Minute: Treating Urinary Tract Infections (November 2019).