Journal Article

Fish Tank Exposure and Cutaneous Infections Due to <i>Mycobacterium marinum:</i> Tuberculin Skin Testing, Treatment, and Prevention

Felicia M. T. Lewis, Bryan J. Marsh and C. Fordham von Reyn

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 37, issue 3, pages 390-397
Published in print August 2003 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online August 2003 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/376628
Fish Tank Exposure and Cutaneous Infections Due to Mycobacterium marinum: Tuberculin Skin Testing, Treatment, and Prevention

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In the present study, 8 patients with soft tissue infection due to Mycobacterium marinum are described, and contemporary data on treatment are reviewed. Six patients had positive cultures, all patients had cutaneous exposure to fish tanks, 7 had sporotrichoid lesions, and 2 had deep infection. All 7 tested patients had tuberculin skin test reactions ⩾10 mm. Six patients with disease limited to the skin were successfully treated with 2-drug combination therapy, including clarithromycin, ethambutol, and rifampin. Optimal treatment should include 2 drugs for 1–2 months after resolution of lesions, typically 3–4 months in total. Deeper infections may require more prolonged treatment and surgical debridement. Positive tuberculin reactions may be due to infection with M. marinum. Persons with open skin lesions or immunosuppression should avoid cutaneous contact with fish tanks.

Journal Article.  3568 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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