Salt water: skin infections

There is some overlap between infectious agents found in fresh and salt water, as some organisms survive on fish, corals and plants found in fresh, brackish or salt water. Some of these organisms have been discussed previously in this column (MO, 2 November).

Skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) due to organisms found in salt water can occur by contamination of pre-existing open wounds and inoculation of normal skin by injury, including bites, lacerations and puncture wounds from marine organisms.