Mycobacterium Marinum (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- What is Mycobacterium marinum?
- What are other names for Mycobacterium marinum infections?
- How common is Mycobacterium marinum?
- How does a person get infected with Mycobacterium marinum?
- Are Mycobacterium marinum infections contagious?
- Who is at risk for Mycobacterium marinum infection?
- What are the symptoms of Mycobacterium marinum infection?
- What specialists treat Mycobacterium marinum infections?
- What tests are available to diagnose a Mycobacterium marinum infection?
- Do fish get infected with Mycobacterium marinum?
- What is the treatment for a Mycobacterium marinum infection?
- What is the prognosis for those infected with Mycobacterium marinum?
- What are possible complications from Mycobacterium marinum?
- What else could it be?
- How can I prevent this infection?
How does a person get infected with Mycobacterium marinum?
Human infections with M. marinum under normal circumstances are rare. People are prone to this infection when there is minor trauma to an extremity like the forearm before or during contact with marine animals like fish or turtles, or just an aquarium, saltwater or freshwater.
- when in contact with water from an aquarium or fish tank,
- when handling, cleaning, or processing fish,
- while swimming or working in fresh or salt water, or
- while standing in contaminated water.
One form of the infection, known as "swimming pool granuloma," can occur when there is inadequate chlorination of swimming pools. However, in the U.S., most human infections with this bacteria have been associated with contact with fish tanks.
Are Mycobacterium marinum infections contagious?
M. marinum infection is not contagious; it is not spread from person to person. It is also not transmitted in hospitals like other common bacteria.
Who is at risk for Mycobacterium marinum infection?
People at highest risk include home-aquarium hobbyists, swimmers, aquarium workers, marine-life handlers, anglers, and oyster workers. Overall, anyone with frequent or persistent saltwater or freshwater exposure is at potential risk. Here is a list of at risk people:
- personal home-aquarium owners
- professionals who clean aquariums
- marine biologists
- fishermen and workers exposed to saltwater fish
- immunocompromised patients (HIV/AIDS)
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