Your aquarium can be source of skin infections - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Your aquarium can be source of skin infections

Updated:
© ©

MONDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Delayed diagnosis and treatment of a skin infection linked to contaminated water in home aquariums is common, according to a new study.

Mycobacterium marinum infection occurs when bacteria in the non-chlorinated water of an aquarium enters an open skin wound on the arm or hand.

It can be difficult for doctors to identify and manage the infection because it takes two to four weeks of incubation before skin lesions appear. Because it's been so long, many patients don't remember the source of the exposure, the Henry Ford Hospital researchers said.

"People just don't know or think about their fish tank harboring this bacterial organism," study author and infectious diseases physician Dr. George Alangaden said in a Henry Ford Health System news release.

"And unless they're directly questioned about it by their physician, who may or may not have adequate knowledge of Mycobacterium marinum and its prolonged incubation period, appropriate treatment often gets delayed," Alangaden explained.

The study included five patients, aged 43 to 72, who were treated for M. marinum infection at Henry Ford between January 2003 and March 2013. Skin biopsies were performed on the patients to confirm the infection.

The incubation period before skin lesions appeared ranged from 11 days to 56 days. Antibiotic treatment was effective in all the patients, but it took an average of 161 days from when they first saw a doctor to when they began treatment, according to the findings that were to be presented Saturday at IDWeek 2013, the infectious diseases society conference in San Francisco.

"Mycobacterium marinum is not a life-threatening illness, but it remains an unrecognized cause of skin infection," Alangaden said in the news release. "To accelerate diagnosis and treatment, physicians are encouraged to ask detailed questions about the patient's history, especially questions about potential exposure to aquariums."

The data and conclusions of research presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The New Zealand Dermatological Society has more about Mycobacterium marinum and related infections.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
  • More From wfmj.comMore>>

  • Deadly Israeli strikes hit UN school, market area

    Deadly Israeli strikes hit UN school, market area

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 8:26 PM EDT2014-07-31 00:26:47 GMT
    A Palestinian health official says 13 people were killed after tank shells hit a U.N. school in Gaza where hundreds of Palestinians had taken refuge from Israeli attacks.More >>
    Israeli artillery shells tore through the walls of a U.N. school crowded with sleeping war refugees and back-to-back explosions rocked a market filled with shoppers Wednesday as Israel's stepped up campaign against...More >>
  • Suing Obama: GOP-led House gives the go-ahead

    Suing Obama: GOP-led House gives the go-ahead

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 7:49 PM EDT2014-07-30 23:49:43 GMT
    Republicans are ready to muscle legislation through the House authorizing an election-year lawsuit against President Barack Obama that accuses him of exceeding his powers in enforcing his health care law.More >>
    A sharply divided House approved a Republican plan Wednesday to launch a campaign-season lawsuit against President Barack Obama, accusing him of exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority. Obama and other...More >>
  • Forum to focus on extending foster care in Ohio

    Forum to focus on extending foster care in Ohio

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 7:07 PM EDT2014-07-30 23:07:29 GMT
    The second of five public forums around Ohio on the issue of whether to extend foster care for young people from the age of 18 to 21 includes state legislators and community leaders.More >>
    The second of five public forums around Ohio on the issue of whether to extend foster care for young people from the age of 18 to 21 includes state legislators and community leaders.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms