Fish Tuberculosis Description
Fish tuberculosis is caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium marinum, an organism very closely related to the bacteria that causes human tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis). The disease is very difficult to treat and can be spread to humans. If you suspect a fish tuberculosis infection, be sure to take proper precautions to ensure that the disease is not transmitted from the infected aquarium to your body. Proper precautions include the use of elbow length gloves and no contact with the water.
Fish Tuberculosis Symptoms
Fish Tuberculosis Diagnosis
Definitive diagnosis of fish TB can be difficult without the use of a microscope and bacterial cultures. The presence of fish tuberculosis symptoms is probably the best way for a home fish keeper to diagnose the problem
Fish Tuberculosis Treatment
It is usually recommended that fish with tuberculosis be euthanized. There are two reasons for this. The first reason is that the prognosis for a fish with tuberculosis is not good. While it is possible to treat the disease with antibiotics, the most likely outcome for this fish is a slow, painful death. The second reason euthanization shoud be considered is that fish tuberculosis is one of the fish diseases that can be transmitted to humans.
Transmission to Humans
Fish tuberculosis got it's name because it is so closely related to Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the human version of tuberculosis. Because of this, the disease can infect humans. Fish tuberculosis infection in humans presents initially as a skin rash. The disease can progress to present small purple lesions or bumps near the infected area. If left untreated, fish tuberculosis can destroy soft tissue or even reach the joints and bones of the infected human. If you believe you may have contracted a fish tuberculosis infection, seek medical help immediately. When speaking with your doctor about the symptoms, be sure to mention that you keep tropical fish. This way your doctor will know to consider tropical fish diseases such as fish tuberculosis as a possible diagnosis.
Fish Tuberculosis Prevention
The best method to prevent fish tuberculosis is with the use of a quarantine tank. Use a quarantine tank for several weeks before any new fish is introduced to your aquarium. Also, sick or injured fish should be moved to a quarantine tank to reduce the chances of a disease outbreak.