Infectious Disease Compendium

Capnocytophaga

Microbiology

Long, thin gram negative rod. Two groups

1) C. ochracea, C. gingivalis, C. granulosa, C. haemolytica, C. sputigena, in humans.

2) C. canimorsus (dogs), Capnocytophaga canis (cats) and C. cynodegmi (dogs and cats).

Rare infections after rabbit exposure.

Epidemiologic Risks

Doggy bites and the occasional cat bite.  Occasionally licking or casual contact; there was a case presented at conference of meningitis in a child.  The family dog liked to lick the childs head, probably thinking it like a Tootsie Roll Pop (Reference).

Syndromes

Human Capnocytophaga: periodontitis and occasional bacteremia in the neutropenic.

Animal Capnocytophaga: purpura fulminans like sepsis in asplenics, alcoholics and steroid patients when Cujo returns i.e. dog bites.  Also meningitis and sepsis.  25% mortality rate (PubMed).

Treatment

Human derived: clindamycin, erythromycin, tetracyclines, quinolone, OR imipenem, with variable susceptibilities to penicillin, expanded-spectrum cephalosporins, aztreonam, vancomycin, metronidazole.

Animal derived: penicillin is preferred, but is sensitive to imipenem, erythromycin, clindamycin, third generation cephalosporins, tetracyclines, OR quinolone, but resistant to aztreonam.

Notes