a1 Department of Microbiology, Cardiothoracic Institute, University of London, Fulham Road, London SW3 GHP
a2 Department of Microbiology, Institute of Dermatology, University of London, St. John's Hospital for Diseases of the Skin, Homerton Grove London E9 6BX
a3 Regional Centre for Tuberculosis Bacteriology, Public Health Laboratory, Dulwich Hospital, East Dulwich Grove, London SE22 8QF.
Mycobacterium marinum, formerly known as ‘Mycobacterium balnei’, is a free-living organism which causes disease in fish and occasionally in man. When such infections occur in man they are usually associated with some aquatic activity, e.g. swimming, fishing, boating and keeping tropical fish. For this reason, the organism has been called a ‘leisure-time pathogen’ by Feldman, Long & David (1974) and the disease a ‘hobby hazard’ by Heineman, Spitzer & Pianphongsant (1972).