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Salmonella (& other nasties) in fishtanks
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2010.01.11(Mon)14:18    Post subject: Salmonella (& other nasties) in fishtanks Reply with quote

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol12no03/05-1085.htm

Quite an old paper, but I think it's probably worth posting. Wash your hands after playing in the tank and don't mouth syphon!

Quote:
In 2000, multidrug-resistant S. Paratyphi B dT+ with an identical phage type (reaction does not conform [RDNC]), designated here as Aus2, and the same drug-resistance profile (ApCmSmSpSuTc) was isolated from humans with gastroenteritis and from fish tanks in the homes of 2 infected patients (Table). In 2003 and 2004, 13 cases of ApCmSmSpSuTc S. Paratyphi B dT+ were investigated by state and commonwealth health departments, and all were associated with home aquariums containing tropical fish (J. Musto et al., unpub. data). Of these, 11 cases were phage type RDNC Aus3, 1 was phage type 1 var 15, and 1 was phage type 3b var. Water and gravel were collected from the domestic aquariums of 5 patients with RDNC Aus3-type infections, and identical isolates were recovered from each fish tank.


Quote:
This is the first definitive report showing that ornamental fish tanks are a reservoir for multidrug-resistant S. Paratyphi B dT+ (ApCmSmSpSuTc phenotype) containing SGI1 that causes severe disease in humans, particularly young children. In addition to containing SGI1, the matched isolates from humans and their fish tanks had the same phage type and the same XbaI macrorestriction digest pattern and IS200 profile. These findings identify home aquariums containing tropical fish as the most important, although not necessarily the only, source of multidrug-resistant S. Paratyphi B dT+.

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Last edited by unissuh on 2010.01.20(Wed)16:42; edited 1 time in total
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Caton
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Joined: 28 Jul 2009
Location: Washington State, USA

PostPosted: 2010.01.11(Mon)15:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yike's! Maybe that is why my cat got sick... Laughing
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Flame Angel
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Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: 2010.01.11(Mon)18:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow thats quite scary really. Never heard of fish tanks posing a risk like that.

I can't really find anything in the article saying how the fish are affected though?
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2010.01.12(Tue)10:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

It could be non-pathogenic in fish, they are quite different from us. I haven't seen anything that suggests Salmonella causes disease in fish anyway.

I think the important message is that it can survive quite well in a fishtank.
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Fern
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Joined: 26 May 2009
Location: SW Florida

PostPosted: 2010.01.18(Mon)9:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

A little off topic but... Is fish TB the same type as human TB? As in can humans catch it?
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Darkblade48
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Joined: 21 Jun 2004
Location: Yokohama, Japan

PostPosted: 2010.01.18(Mon)12:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fern wrote:
A little off topic but... Is fish TB the same type as human TB? As in can humans catch it?

As far as I can recall, there have been no cases where piscine TB has been passed on to humans.

However, to be on the safe side, I would never place my hands into a tank if there were open cuts/wounds.
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diademhill
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Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2010.01.18(Mon)13:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Humans can catch Mycobacterium marinum but the risk is minimal if common sense is used when dealing with aquaria.
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katienaha
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Joined: 18 Dec 2009
Location: British Columbia, Canada

PostPosted: 2010.01.18(Mon)14:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would think not.. Human TB is airborne, not contact.
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2010.01.18(Mon)16:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, human TB is called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the fish variant is called Mycobacterium marinum. The main difference is that M. marinum doesn't like to grow at 37C, so doesn't cause a systemic infection in humans & usually stays localised to extremities where the temperature is slightly lower.

You don't get fish TB from breathing it in, but it can get into open cuts/wounds and be quite an issue, definitely don't stick hands with open wounds in the tank. This whole genus of bacteria is *very* antibiotic and immune resistant. I'll have to dig through my archives to see if I can find it but I am pretty sure there was at least one case where amputation was the end result of a severe infection...

EDIT: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3760509

Also note the length of antibiotic treatments - in that case it was 6 months but seems to go from 6 months to a year in the cases I just found.
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Fern
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Joined: 26 May 2009
Location: SW Florida

PostPosted: 2010.01.19(Tue)10:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I didn't know it was a different strain, I have been exposed to human TB and have the antibody's so I never worried much about the fish version.
The bad thing is I almost always have open wounds on my hands due to my line of work.....I guess I need to start coating them with superglue before any tank maintenance Laughing
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