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Mycobacterium marinum infection follows traumatic inoculation while the exposed skin is in an aqueous environment, whether a fish tank, swimming pool, or brackish water. It is characterized clinically by an inflammatory verrucous or crusted lesion at the inoculation site, and in some cases lymphangitic spread.


The cause is infection with M marinum.

* Exposure of traumatized skin to affected aqueous environments (fish tanks) is the leading predisposing factor.
* Individuals who are consistently exposed to the organism are more likely to develop the infection.
* Hosts who are immunocompromised are also at increased risk.


* Lymphadenopathy may be present.
* An erythematous or bluish 0.5- to 3-cm papule or nodule develops at the inoculation site, which is the upper extremity in 90% of cases.
* Patients may have deeper involvement, with tenosynovitis bursitis, septic arthritis.

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