Mycobacterium marinum

  • Medical Author:

    Dr. Alai is an actively practicing medical and surgical dermatologist in south Orange County, California. She has been a professor of dermatology and family medicine at the University of California, Irvine since 2000. She is U.S. board-certified in dermatology, a 10-year-certified fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, and Fellow of the American Society of Mohs Surgery.

  • Medical Editor: Frederick Hecht, MD, FAAP, FACMG
    Frederick Hecht, MD, FAAP, FACMG

    Frederick Hecht, MD, FAAP, FACMG

    Frederick Hecht, MD, lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. Dr. Hecht is a Pediatrician and Medical Geneticist and is certified by both the American Boards of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics. Dr. Hecht was born and raised in Baltimore and attended Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. and the Sorbonne at the University of Paris receiving his BA degree cum laude with distinction from Dartmouth.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    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.

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What is the prognosis for those infected with Mycobacterium marinum?

The prognosis is excellent for a complete cure with a proper, full course of oral antibiotics and good medical follow-up with your physician. There are no long-term problems after treatment.

What are possible complications from Mycobacterium marinum?

M. marinum infections are usually localized and typically do not spread past the skin in healthy people. Most patients with a normal immune system don't experience other complications. However, undetected or untreated, the infection may progress and cause deeper and more longstanding infections. Some rare potential problems include infection of the underlying bone called osteomyelitis, infection of the deep muscle tendons called tenosynovitis, inflammation of the joints called arthritis, and widespread bodily infections called disseminated disease. Patients with an impaired immune system (immunocompromised) may be much more prone to these more serious complications.

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 4/15/2015
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