Medscape is available in 5 Language Editions – Choose your Edition here.


Dermatologic Manifestations of Mycobacterium Marinum Infection of the Skin Follow-up

  • Author: Joslyn S Kirby, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
Updated: Apr 16, 2014

Further Inpatient Care

See the list below:

  • Patients can be treated in an outpatient setting and should be seen frequently until they begin to respond to therapy, then less frequently until the infection is fully cured. Patients may benefit from seeing an infectious disease physician in an outpatient setting.


See the list below:

  • People who work near or in salt water should take precautions to avoid abrasions, trauma, or bites from fish and marine animals.
  • People who work with aquariums should wear gloves if they are cleaning tanks or expect to encounter trauma to their hands or feet.
  • If bites or abrasions occur, cleanse the skin, apply an antibacterial preparation, and dress with an appropriate bandage.


See the list below:

  • Persistent ulceration
  • Osteomyelitis, bony erosion
  • Bursitis
  • Tenosynovitis
  • Arthritis
  • Disseminated infection


See the list below:

  • Once identified and appropriately treated, M marinum infection can typically be successfully eradicated, usually with no major sequelae.
Contributor Information and Disclosures

Joslyn S Kirby, MD Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology, Milton S Hershey Penn State Medical Center

Joslyn S Kirby, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Women's Dermatologic Society, International Society for Cutaneous Lymphomas, Pennsylvania Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


S Alison Basak, MD, MA Resident Physician, Department of Dermatology, Penn State Hershey Medical Center

S Alison Basak, MD, MA is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Medical Association, Pennsylvania Medical Society, Women's Dermatologic Society, Pennsylvania Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Richard P Vinson, MD Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Dermatology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L Foster School of Medicine; Consulting Staff, Mountain View Dermatology, PA

Richard P Vinson, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Texas Medical Association, Association of Military Dermatologists, Texas Dermatological Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Lester F Libow, MD Dermatopathologist, South Texas Dermatopathology Laboratory

Lester F Libow, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Society of Dermatopathology, Texas Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Dirk M Elston, MD Professor and Chairman, Department of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine

Dirk M Elston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Ellen J Kim, MD Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Ellen J Kim, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, Dermatology Foundation, Medical Dermatology Society, and Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Saeed Jaffer, MD, MS Assistant Clinical Professor, University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine; Consulting Staff, Boston Dermatology

Saeed Jaffer, MD, MS is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology and American Society for MOHS Surgery

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

  1. Kent ML, Watral V, Wu M, Bermudez LE. In vivo and in vitro growth of Mycobacterium marinum at homoeothermic temperatures. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2006 Apr. 257(1):69-75. [Medline].

  2. Clay H, Volkman HE, Ramakrishnan L. Tumor necrosis factor signaling mediates resistance to mycobacteria by inhibiting bacterial growth and macrophage death. Immunity. 2008 Aug 15. 29(2):283-94. [Medline].

  3. Salvana EM, Cooper GS, Salata RA. Mycobacterium other than tuberculosis (MOTT) infection: an emerging disease in infliximab-treated patients. J Infect. 2007 Dec. 55(6):484-7. [Medline].

  4. Levesque BG, Sandborn WJ. Mycobacterium marinum infection in the setting of antitumor necrosis factor alpha therapy for Crohn's disease. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2011 Jun. 17(6):1443-4. [Medline].

  5. Kump PK, Högenauer C, Wenzl HH, Petritsch W. A case of opportunistic skin infection with Mycobacterium marinum during adalimumab treatment in a patient with Crohn's disease. J Crohns Colitis. 2013 Feb. 7(1):e15-8. [Medline].

  6. Tian WW, Wang QQ, Liu WD, Shen JP, Wang HS. Mycobacterium marinum: a potential immunotherapy for Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2013. 7:669-80. [Medline]. [Full Text].

  7. Aubry A, Chosidow O, Caumes E, Robert J, Cambau E. Sixty-three cases of Mycobacterium marinum infection: clinical features, treatment, and antibiotic susceptibility of causative isolates. Arch Intern Med. 2002 Aug 12-26. 162(15):1746-52. [Medline].

  8. Doedens RA, van der Sar AM, Bitter W, Scholvinck EH. Transmission of Mycobacterium marinum from fish to a very young child. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2008 Jan. 27(1):81-3. [Medline].

  9. Appelgren P, Farnebo F, Dotevall L, Studahl M, Jonsson B, Petrini B. Late-onset posttraumatic skin and soft-tissue infections caused by rapid-growing mycobacteria in tsunami survivors. Clin Infect Dis. 2008 Jul 15. 47(2):e11-6. [Medline].

  10. Ko DY, Song KH. Mycobacterium marinum infection occurring on the face. J Dermatol. 2013 Sep. 40(9):773-4. [Medline].

  11. Bouricha M, Castan B, Duchene-Parisi E, Drancourt M. Mycobacterium marinum infection following contact with reptiles: vivarium granuloma. Int J Infect Dis. 2014 Apr. 21C:17-18. [Medline].

  12. S Breza T Jr, Magro CM. Lichenoid and granulomatous dermatitis associated with atypical mycobacterium infections. J Cutan Pathol. 2006 Jul. 33(7):512-5. [Medline].

  13. Lam A, Toma W, Schlesinger N. Mycobacterium marinum arthritis mimicking rheumatoid arthritis. J Rheumatol. 2006 Apr. 33(4):817-9. [Medline].

  14. Janik JP, Bang RH, Palmer CH. Case reports: successful treatment of Mycobacterium marinum infection with minocycline after complication of disease by delayed diagnosis and systemic steroids. J Drugs Dermatol. 2005 Sep-Oct. 4(5):621-4. [Medline].

  15. Gluckman SJ. Mycobacterium marinum. Clin Dermatol. 1995 May-Jun. 13(3):273-6. [Medline].

  16. Bhambri S, Bhambri A, Del Rosso JQ. Atypical mycobacterial cutaneous infections. Dermatol Clin. 2009 Jan. 27(1):63-73. [Medline].

  17. Mahaisavariya P, Chaiprasert A, Manonukul J, Khemngern S, Tingtoy N. Detection and identification of Mycobacterium species by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) from paraffin-embedded tissue compare to AFB staining in pathological sections. J Med Assoc Thai. 2005 Jan. 88(1):108-13. [Medline].

  18. Ho MH, Ho CK, Chong LY. Atypical mycobacterial cutaneous infections in Hong Kong: 10-year retrospective study. Hong Kong Med J. 2006/January. 12:21-6.

  19. Nolte O, Haag H, Hafner B. A mutation in the 65,000 Dalton heat shock protein gene, commonly used for molecular identification of non-tuberculous mycobacteria, leads to the misidentification of Mycobacterium malmoense as Mycobacterium marinum. Mol Cell Probes. 2005 Aug. 19(4):275-7. [Medline].

  20. Lai CC, Tan CK, Lin SH, Liu WL, Liao CH, Huang YT, et al. Diagnostic value of an enzyme-linked immunospot assay for interferon-? in cutaneous tuberculosis. Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2011 May. 70(1):60-4. [Medline].

  21. Wongworawat MD, Holtom P, Learch TJ, Fedenko A, Stevanovic MV. A prolonged case of Mycobacterium marinum flexor tenosynovitis: radiographic and histological correlation, and review of the literature. Skeletal Radiol. 2003 Sep. 32(9):542-5. [Medline].

  22. Rybniker J, Kramme S, Small PL. Host range of 14 mycobacteriophages in Mycobacterium ulcerans and seven other mycobacteria including Mycobacterium tuberculosis--application for identification and susceptibility testing. J Med Microbiol. 2006 Jan. 55:37-42. [Medline].

  23. Travis WD, Travis LB, Roberts GD, Su DW, Weiland LW. The histopathologic spectrum in Mycobacterium marinum infection. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1985 Dec. 109(12):1109-13. [Medline].

  24. Rallis E, Koumantaki-Mathioudaki E. Treatment of Mycobacterium marinum cutaneous infections. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2007 Dec. 8(17):2965-78. [Medline].

  25. Bhatty MA, Turner DP, Chamberlain ST. Mycobacterium marinum hand infection: case reports and review of literature. Br J Plast Surg. 2000 Mar. 53(2):161-5. [Medline].

  26. Sato E, Imafuku S, Ishii K, Itoh R, Chou B, Soejima T, et al. Vitamin D-dependent cathelicidin inhibits Mycobacterium marinum infection in human monocytic cells. J Dermatol Sci. 2013 Jun. 70(3):166-72. [Medline].

  27. Cummins DL, Delacerda D, Tausk FA. Mycobacterium marinum with different responses to second-generation tetracyclines. Int J Dermatol. 2005 Jun. 44(6):518-20. [Medline].

  28. Dodiuk-Gad R, Dyachenko P, Ziv M, et al. Nontuberculous mycobacterial infections of the skin: A retrospective study of 25 cases. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007 Sep. 57(3):413-20. [Medline].

  29. Parrish N, Luethke R, Dionne K, Carroll K, Riedel S. Case of Mycobacterium marinum infection with unusual patterns of susceptibility to commonly used antibiotics. J Clin Microbiol. 2011 May. 49(5):2056-8. [Medline].

  30. Seneviratne K, Herieka E. A rifampicin-resistant Mycobacterium marinum infection in a newly diagnosed HIV-1 individual. Int J STD AIDS. 2013 Jan. 24(1):75-7. [Medline].

Photograph of Mycobacterium marinum infection lesions.
All material on this website is protected by copyright, Copyright © 1994-2016 by WebMD LLC. This website also contains material copyrighted by 3rd parties.