Patient Comments: Mycobacterium Marinum - Symptoms

What were your symptoms associated with a Mycobacterium marinum infection?

Comment from: Bill, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: February 17

I was cleaning shrimp for the Christmas holidays last year. After the New Year, my finger swelled. Then my whole hand swelled up. I went to the doctor and he diagnosed it as gout and proceeded to give me steroid shots and a gout pack of medication to be taken for a week. Nothing got better. The pain was excruciating and I couldn't work with my hands at all, not even to feed myself. Finally, after coercing my physician, he took x-rays and blood work and told me to go to a hand surgeon. I did. My hand surgeon immediately put me in the surgical center and did a scraping. He diagnosed Mycobacterium marinum. I had to find an infectious disease doctor the next day. My infectious disease doctor gave me three weeks of IV therapy, and I am on clarithromycin, rifampin and ethambutol for 9 months now. My hand is better, but the medicines gave me bad side effects to my eyes.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Kathy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 11

I live on the gulf coast in northern Florida and have done a lot of fishing and kayaking where wading in the muck is unavoidable. I developed a small red painless bump on the inside of my ankle earlier this year, did not think much about it until it did not go away for a couple of months. I had it checked out by a dermatologist (in April) who said it looked ok, and should go away by itself. It was still there in the summer, and I had it checked out by my family doctor who also said it was nothing to worry about. By October, this small red bump had grown into a large red area and felt like there was fluid in it (looked like a boil). The ironic part of this is that I had the same thing happen about 15 years ago when I got the same type of infection in my finger after injuring it. At the time I had a fish tank and a water garden with Koi in it. I went back to the dermatologist and insisted that he check for Mycobacterium marinum infection. The biopsy came back positive. The first time I got it, I was antibiotics for almost a year. It looks like the same this time around.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Lucinda, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 08

The tip of my first finger was swollen and a bit warm and red for over two months. When the swelling moved down my finger towards my hand, I consulted a doctor. It took 5 months to culture the a-typical mycobacterium to diagnose it as marinum. At its worst, half my hand and the finger were swollen, hot, itchy, and painful. I have been on a course of antibiotics for a month which has reduced the pain and swelling. With the specific diagnosis I expect that more targeted antibiotics, I will take for another 4 months, will cure the infection and I will have normal use of my hand. I swam every day in the summer in the Delaware Bay and frequently have scratches and cut on my hands. That is the most likely source of my infection.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Mycobacterium Marinum - Share Your Experience Question: Did you contract a Mycobacterium marinum infection after swimming? Please share your experience.
Mycobacterium Marinum - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment, including medication, were used for your Mycobacterium marinum infection?

Patient Comments are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on MedicineNet. The opinions expressed in the comments section are of the author and the author alone. MedicineNet does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Alert If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors