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- Patient Comments: Mycobacterium Marinum - Share Your Experience
- Patient Comments: Mycobacterium Marinum - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Mycobacterium Marinum - Treatment
- 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?
- Who is at risk for Mycobacterium marinum infection?
- What are the symptoms of Mycobacterium marinum infection?
- What tests are available to diagnose the infection?
- How is Mycobacterium marinum infection treated?
- What is the prognosis for those infected with Mycobacterium marinum?
- What are possible complications from Mycobacterium marinum?
- Do fish get infected with Mycobacterium marinum?
- What else could it be?
- How can I prevent this infection?
What tests are available to diagnose the 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.
How is Mycobacterium marinum infection treated?
Most infections are treated medically with a fairly long course of oral antibiotics. Medications may be required anywhere from three to six months or more depending on the severity of the disease and spread of the infection. Typically, physicians may recommend continuing the medications for an additional four to six weeks even after all of the symptoms have fully cleared.
The gold standard for treatment of infection by M. marinum is oral antibiotics. Clarithromycin is currently the preferred antibiotic selection. Other antibiotic options include rifampin plus ethambutol, tetracyclines, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and fluoroquinolones.
Some milder infections (mainly in healthy people) have cleared on their own without any treatment. Rarely, surgical treatment and drainage of deeper tissue or skin infections may become necessary in more complicated cases. However, medical treatment remains the primary and preferred treatment for nearly all cases.