April 29, 2017
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Mycobacterium Marinum (cont.)

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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.

However, people who have minor breaks in the skin such as small cuts or scrapes are at increased risk

  • 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)
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/12/2016

Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/mycobacterium_marinum/article.htm

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