Date: 16 Feb 2006

Etiologic diagnosis of Capnocytophaga canimorsus meningitis by broad-range PCR

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Neisseria meningitidis, Haemophilus influenzae, and Streptococcus pneumoniae account for approximately 80% of the cases of acute bacterial meningitis [1]. Since the introduction of H. influenzae type b vaccination, however, H. influenzae meningitis has become rarely seen. Capnocytophaga canimorsus is an even less-frequent cause of bacterial meningitis, with only 19 cases having been published so far in the English-language literature [2]. However, since it is fashionable for humans to own animals as pets and for defense, the true incidence of this pathogen may be higher. Reported here is the case of a patient with bacteremia and meningitis after a dog bite, in which the etiologic diagnosis was difficult to establish.

A previously healthy 54-year-old Caucasian man who regularly consumed alcohol (approximately 85 g ethanol/day) was admitted to the emergency room with a 3-day history of increasing headache and chills, associated with vomiting, diarrhea, and arthralgia. He had been bitten o ...