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Mycobacterium Marinum (cont.)

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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.

A special test called polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of tissue may be used in difficult cases to assist in naming the exact type of bacteria or Mycobacterium species involved.

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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/12/2016

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

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