Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Skin infection linked to exposure to aquariums is under-diagnosed

Date:
October 6, 2013
Source:
Henry Ford Health System
Summary:
A skin infection linked to exposure to contaminated water in home aquariums is frequently under-diagnosed. Researchers say diagnosing and managing Mycobacterium marinum infection is difficult because skin lesions don’t appear for two to four weeks after incubation, leading to delayed treatment and unnecessary and ineffective use of antifungal and antibacterial agents.

“People just don’t know or think about their fish tank harboring this bacterial organism,” says George Alangaden, M.D., a Henry Ford Infectious Diseases physician and the study’s lead author.
Credit: iStockphoto

A skin infection linked to exposure to contaminated water in home aquariums is frequently under-diagnosed, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study. Researchers say diagnosing and managing Mycobacterium marinum infection is difficult because skin lesions don't appear for two to four weeks after incubation, leading to delayed treatment and unnecessary and ineffective use of antifungal and antibacterial agents.

During the incubation period, patients also fail to remember the source of the exposure, which is often traced to them cleaning their aquarium. Infection results when bacteria in the non-chlorinated water attacks an open skin wound on the arm or hand.

"People just don't know or think about their fish tank harboring this bacterial organism," says George Alangaden, M.D., a Henry Ford Infectious Diseases physician and the study's lead author.

"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."

The study is being presented at the Infectious Diseases Society of America's annual meeting in San Francisco.

In a retrospective study conducted between January 2003 and March 2013, researchers identified five patients ages 43 to 72 treated at Henry Ford for Mycobacterium marinum, which resemble reddish skin lesions or bumps on the hands or arms. Skin biopsies performed on all five patients confirmed the infection.

The incubation period before skin lesions appeared ranged from 11 to 56 days. While all five patients responded effectively to antibiotic treatment, it took on average 161 days from the time of initial presentation to time of treatment.

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


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Henry Ford Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Henry Ford Health System. "Skin infection linked to exposure to aquariums is under-diagnosed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131006142253.htm>.
Henry Ford Health System. (2013, October 6). Skin infection linked to exposure to aquariums is under-diagnosed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131006142253.htm
Henry Ford Health System. "Skin infection linked to exposure to aquariums is under-diagnosed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131006142253.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins