Mycobacterium marinum infection


Mycobacterium marinum Infection

Mycobacterium marinum infection is a rare and mild bacterial infection caused by a nontuberculous mycobacterium, that is, a species of mycobacterium not known to cause tuberculosis or leprosy. It primarily affects the skin but can spread to the joints in some cases. Mycobacterium marinum is commonly found in aquatic animals such as fish or frogs, and contact with infected aquatic life is thought to be the main way humans become infected.

The most common symptom of Mycobacterium marinum infection is a slowly-growing, reddish-brown lesion that forms on the extremities, such as the arms or legs. The lesion may feel tender or painful and may grow up to a few centimeters in diameter. Additional symptoms of Mycobacterium marinum infection include a fever, swollen lymph nodes, and joint pain. If the infection is left untreated, it may spread to the joints and cause arthritis.

Mycobacterium marinum infection is usually treated with a combination of oral antibiotics and wound care. Common antibiotic choices for this infection include doxycycline and minocycline. In some cases, a specific combination of two or three antibiotics may be used, such as rifampin, ethambutol, and isoniazid. Surgery may be needed to remove any damaged tissue that is not responding to treatment.

Preventing M. Marinum Infection

Since Mycobacterium marinum infection is typically contracted by contact with aquatic animals, the best way to prevent it is to practice safe contact with fish and other aquatic animals, either in the wild or in aquariums. Here are some tips for preventing Mycobacterium marinum infection:

  • Avoid contact with wild aquatic animals.
  • Wear gloves when handling fish or other aquatic animals.
  • Clean and disinfect aquariums and aquarium equipment regularly.
  • Treat any cuts or wounds immediately before exposure to aquatic animals.

Mycobacterium marinum infection can be a serious and potentially debilitating infection if not treated. If you think you may have been exposed to this bacteria, be sure to contact your doctor for a diagnosis and proper treatment.