Your aquarium can be source of skin infections - 8 News NOW

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.

  • Paula's Health NotesLas Vegas Health NewsMore>>

  • Why some patients don't get Alzheimer's

    Why some patients don't get Alzheimer's

    Friday, August 29 2014 4:23 PM EDT2014-08-29 20:23:01 GMT
     new study may help scientists unlock a medical mystery. Researchers have found that rheumatoid arthritis patients seem to have protection from developing Alzheimer's disease. The scientific link between the two may help researchers develop a new treatment for Alzheimer's.More>>
     new study may help scientists unlock a medical mystery. Researchers have found that rheumatoid arthritis patients seem to have protection from developing Alzheimer's disease. The scientific link between the two may help researchers develop a new treatment for Alzheimer's.More>>
  • Brain surgery through the nose

    Brain surgery through the nose

    Friday, August 29 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-08-29 19:00:17 GMT
    Removing a brain tumor can be tricky for surgeons and painful for patients. Now there's a new way to take out these lesions as surgeons are using the nose as a pathway to the brain.More>>
    Removing a brain tumor can be tricky for surgeons and painful for patients. Now there's a new way to take out these lesions as surgeons are using the nose as a pathway to the brain.More>>
  • New procedure to help Lipedema

    New procedure to help Lipedema

    Friday, August 22 2014 3:55 PM EDT2014-08-22 19:55:58 GMT
    Some women just can't lose weight and for the estimated 11 percent of women with a chronic disorder, diet and exercise won't help at all. Now, there is a new procedure doctors are now using that can help restore their appearance.More>>
    Some women just can't lose weight and for the estimated 11 percent of women with a chronic disorder, diet and exercise won't help at all. Now, there is a new procedure doctors are now using that can help restore their appearance.More>>
*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.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLAS. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.