The 63-year-old, from China, went to a clinic with an eight-week history of nodules on her arms, according to her case in the New England Journal of Medicine.
“She recalled cutting her thumbs while cleaning fish that she had purchased at a seafood market in preparation for a meal, and the lesions began to develop six weeks later,” researchers wrote.
“She had no fevers.”
Before she visited the clinic, she had seen other healthcare professionals four weeks prior and received antifungal medication for a suspected case of Sporothrix schenckii infection.
Sporothrix schenckii is found in soil and plant material. Unfortunately for the woman the medication did not improve her condition.
“Physical examination at the current clinic revealed painful pink nodules and ulcerations with a hemorrhagic crust on both arms,” researchers wrote.
“A biopsy specimen was obtained and revealed multiple granulomas. Cultures grew Mycobacterium marinum, a nontuberculous mycobacterium that is found in aquatic environments.”
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Infection usually caused by contaminated water
People normally get mycobacterium marinum from contaminated water with infections due to breaks in the skin.
In this case, the woman was infected because she cut her thumbs while cleaning the fish.
Doctors changed her medication which she continued for six months. It was successful with a complete recovery from the bacterial infection.
A follow up a year later found the nodules had gone but scars remained.