Researchers have identified what may be the first documented human infection of a rare bacteria from an iguana bite, CNN reported April 2.
The case involves a California girl who was bit by an iguana while on vacation with her family in Costa Rica last May. Five months later, the girl developed a dime-size bump on her hand in the spot she was bitten. Physicians removed the 2-centimeter mass, and laboratory testing revealed the girl had Mycobacterium marinum, a nontuberculous mycobacterium that commonly causes a tuberculosis-like illness in fish, according to CNN.
The girl is being treated with rifampin, an antimicrobial, and the antibiotic clarithromycin.
“Typically, with these infections, because they take a very long time to grow and they’re a little bit more fastidious, you need to treat them for a longer period of time, sometimes several months,” Jordan Mah, MD, a medical microbioloy fellow in the department of pathology at Stanford (Calif.) University, told CNN. “So she’s doing better. I wouldn’t say 100 [percent], but she’s doing a lot better than she was initially.”
Dr. Mah is slated to present the case at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in April.