Iguana Bites a Girl in Costa Rica Goes Viral

    Infected girl after being bitten by iguana in Costa Rica: an unusual case of Mycobacterium marinum

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    A girl in Costa Rica suffered an infection after being bitten by an iguana, which has drawn the attention of international media. The case will be presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases by Dr. Jordan Kit Mah, a microbiologist at Stanford University.

    The iguana tried to steal her dessert

    The bite occurred while the girl was eating a cake on the beach, and the iguana tried to steal her dessert. Although the girl received treatment in Costa Rica and her wound healed, five months later her parents noticed a reddish-bluish mass the size of a coin on her hand, with no apparent pain. After specialized investigations, the presence of Mycobacterium marinum bacteria was discovered.

    Dr. Natalia Solís Rojas, specialist in Infectious Diseases, explained that M.marinum is a bacterium that causes infections globally, but it is more common in warm areas. The specialist stressed that the diagnosis was difficult to determine since exposure to the bacteria came to light late. Although infection by this bacterium in humans is not common, it is associated with aquarium cleaning, occupational exposure to contaminated water, and commonly to fish or crustaceans.

    The first documented case in the world

    Dr. Solís Rojas emphasized that this type of diagnosis is not frequent in the country. This case of infection by iguana bite is the first documented in the world. The specialist highlighted the importance of analyzing the microbiology of each region to obtain an adequate infectious diagnosis. This case is particularly interesting since the exposure to the bacteria was difficult to determine.


    Resonance Costa Rica
    At Resonance, we aspire to live in harmony with the natural world as a reflection of our gratitude for life. Visit and subscribe at Resonance Costa Rica Youtube Channel
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