Fish tank granuloma: An emerging skin disease in Iran mimicking Cutaneous Leishmaniasis.

27 September 2019

OBJECTIVE: Mycobacterium marinum causes a rare cutaneous disease known as fish tank granuloma (FTG). The disease manifestations resemble those associated with Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL). The aim of this study was to determine whether FTG was the cause of cutaneous lesions in patients who were referred to the Parasitology laboratory of Imam Reza Hospital in Mashhad to be investigated for CL. MATERIALS/METHODS: One hundered patients, clinically diagnosed with CL between April 2014 and March 2015, were included in this study. Ziehl-Neelsen staining was performed to identify acid-fast Mycobacterium in addition to bacterial cultures using Löwenstein-Jensen medium. Skin lesion samples were also collected and kept on DNA banking cards for PCR testing. RESULTS: Twenty-nine of the 100 individuals with skin lesions, and therefore suspected of suffering from CL, tested positive for Mycobacterium marinum by PCR. Of these, 21 (72.4%) were male and 8(27.6%) were female. In 97% of these cases the lesions were located on hands and fingers. These patients had a history of manipulating fish and had been in contact with aquarium water. A sporotrichoid appearance was observed in 58.6% of the patients with mycobacterial lesions; 67% of patients had multiple head appearance. CONCLUSION: Patients suspected to have CL and who test negative for CL could be affected by FTG. Therefore, after obtaining an accurate case history, molecular diagnosis is recommended for cases that give a negative result by conventional methods.