Marine organism wound infections are common in coastal regions of Western Australia. Local treatment guidelines are based on studies from elsewhere. The objective of this article was to identify the causative organisms in marine wounds sustained in the subtropical and tropical coastal waters of the Indian Ocean, Gascoyne region (north-west), Western Australia.
This was a prospective study. A single wound swab was taken from 28 consenting patients who presented with a suppurating marine wound to the emergency departments of Carnarvon and Exmouth hospitals.
The wounds of 27 out of 28 patients returned a positive culture. The two most common organisms were Staphylococcus aureus (n = 18/28; 64.3%) and Vibrio species (n = 9/28; 32.1%). The culture was polymicrobial in 11 patients (39.3%).
S. aureus or Vibrio species were frequently seen in marine wounds, and infections were often polymicrobial. Our results suggest that flucloxacillin (or clindamycin) and doxycycline (or ciprofloxacin) would be a reasonable combination for empirical oral therapy in adults.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners 2017