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?
What specialists treat Mycobacterium marinum infections?
Many people who have skin infections will seek care from a primary-care physician, including family practitioners or internists, or a dermatologist. For severe cases, an infectious-disease specialist may be consulted. If the patient seeks care at an emergency department or urgent-care facility, he or she may be treated by a specialist in emergency medicine.
What tests are available to diagnose a Mycobacterium marinum infection?
Lab tests include cultures where a swab or sample is taken and grown in the laboratory. Cultures of M. marinum are fairly difficult to grow and usually may take several weeks in the lab. The culture may be negative, even if there is an active infection. Treatment may still be considered even if the test results are negative, especially if the patient's history supports past fish or fish-tank exposure.
In the absence of positive culture results, a skin or tissue biopsy may be a helpful test for diagnosis. This may help find the microscopic bacteria.
Do fish get infected with Mycobacterium marinum?
Yes. There are probably two different types of M. marinum. One type only causes a longstanding (chronic) progressive disease in fish without affecting humans. The second type, which can infect humans, seems to cause a deadly sudden illness in fish.
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