Patient Comments: Mycobacterium Marinum - Symptoms & Signs


What were your symptoms and signs associated with a Mycobacterium marinum infection? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Britt, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 05

My symptoms of Mycobacterium marinum started with a round open sore where the splinter cut I had was first infected, and that joint had swelling making it hard to bend my finger. Then I developed a medium sized red raised bumps above and below my skin going from the top of my hand, up my arm toward my shoulder.

Comment from: daniel collingwood, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: December 27

I was diagnosed after two years of creams, with Mycobacterium marinum. I was treated with doxycycline and clarithromycin. Eight week course cleared it up. But I contracted it again after cleaning out my fish tank, close to the original infection on both wrists. I am trying Canesten athlete’s foot cream and chlorhexidine dual action Germolene, night and morning using hot spoon treatment to kill the little bacteria, and it seems to work. These lesions were a bit itchy and in early days, and I am sure it is Mycobacterium marinum. They are very small so I use the hot spoon treatment. First rub in some manuka honey then dip the spoon in very hot water, gradually press the spoon on the sore rolling back and forth. Do this for 10 minutes, keep heating the spoon and use as hot at you can bear. Run in more manuka honey and cover with a large plaster until morning, and do it again. Another way is again with honey but using a very hot flannel and compress it, keeping it hot for up to 30 minutes. Mycobacterium marinum dies at temperatures higher than 48 degrees, so keep as hot as you can reasonably stand it. If this doesn't work I’ll get another referral to the dermatologist’s clinic.

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.

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.

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.


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