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Bacterial Diseases - CAPNOCYTOPHAGA


Capnocytophaga canimorsus (formerly Dysgonic fermenter-2), a recently described aerobic, gram negative bacillus with unusual fermentation pattern.


Found as part of oral flora of normal dogs and cats. C. canimorsus has been isolated from the mouths of 24% and 17% of normal dogs and cats respectively. Serious infections in man are most commonly reported in splenectomized or immunocompromised people, alcoholics, or persons who have chronic respiratory disease. More than 40 cases reported, many fatal, since first reported in 1976.


Contact, bite or scratch from dog or cat.


Can lead to cellulitis and overwhelming bacteremia, meningitis, endocarditis, septic arthritis, and DIC. The organism appears to have an affinity for the eye, causing angular blepharitis and severe keratitis. Accidental corneal inoculation occurred during a tooth extraction in a Poodle causing severe refractory keratitis in a veterinarian. The predisposition of the cornea to infection may be due to its avascularity and to the low concentrations of immunoglobulins and complement components in the tissue. Most serious disease and fatalities have occurred in splenectomized people. Case fatality rates of 4-27% have been reported.


History, clinical signs, and culture. Organism is slow growing.  May require 8 days of incubation. Micro exam of blood smear or buffy coat with gram stain to detect organisms.


Awareness, especially of high risk individuals Treatment of bite wounds, Penicillin G. (Treatment of high risk people even without sign of infection recommended.)