Mycobacterium Marinum (cont.)

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What else could it be?

Other conditions may mimic or be confused with M. marinum infections. Possible other diagnoses include common things like bug bites, spider bites, foreign body granuloma, bacterial infections like staph or E. coli, fungal infections, tumors, and others. Additional diagnoses include cowpox infection, leishmaniasis, leprosy, sarcoidosis, and sporotrichosis. More advanced cases may be mistaken for rheumatoid arthritis, gout, traumatic tendon injury, deep fungal infections, or cancer.

How can I prevent this infection?

The following steps may help to protect you from contracting an infection with M. marinum:

  • Avoid fresh or saltwater activities if there are open cuts, scrapes, or sores on your skin, especially in bodies of water where this bacterium is known to exist.
  • If you have a weakened immune system, you can reduce the risk of infection by carefully covering cuts, scrapes, or sores during fresh or saltwater activities and while cleaning fish tanks or handling, cleaning, or processing fish.
  • Wear heavy gloves (leather or heavy cotton) while cleaning or processing fish, especially fish with sharp spines that may cause cuts, scratches, or sores to the hands and skin. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after fish processing or use a waterless cleanser.
  • Wear waterproof gloves while cleaning home aquariums or fish tanks. Wash hands and forearms thoroughly with soap and running water after cleaning the tank, even if gloves were worn.
  • Ensure regular and adequate chlorination of swimming pools to kill any bacteria that may be present.

Medically reviewed by Robert Cox, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Infectious Disease
REFERENCE:
"Treatment of Mycobacterium marinum cutaneous infections" Rallis E, Koumantaki-Mathioudaki E. Army General Hospital, Department of Dermatology National Institutes of Health


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/12/2013

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