Paediatric epidemiology of Pasteurella multocida meningitis in France and review of the literature

  • H. Guet-Revillet
  • C. Levy
  • I. Andriantahina
  • N. Kalach
  • M.-H. Pierre
  • A. Elbez-Rubinstein
  • C. Boniface
  • P. Berche
  • R. Cohen
  • A. Ferroni


We report on six cases of Pasteurella multocida (P. multocida) meningitis occurring between 2001 and 2011 by a French nationwide active surveillance network of paediatric bacterial meningitis (ACTIV/GPIP). The cases accounted for 0.15 % of the paediatric meningitis cases reported between 2001 and 2011 in France, all in infants <4 months old. A review of the literature allowed us to gather information on 42 other cases of P. multocida meningitis in infants <1 year old reported since 1963. Among all 48 cases, 44 % were newborns. An animal source of the infection, including 39 household dogs and cats, was suspected or identified in 42 of 48 cases. A traumatic contact between the child and a pet occurred in 8 % of cases, and a vertical transmission from mother to child during birth in 10.4 %. Most of the time, the infection resulted from non-traumatic contact between the child and the pet, through licking or sniffing. The absence of host risk factors suggests that an immature immune system is responsible, given the young age of the children. Although complications, especially neurological lesions, were not rare (37.5 %), the long-term outcome was usually good. Four infants died of meningitis. This rare disease could be prevented by reducing contact between infants and household pets, and by performing simple hygiene measures before handling babies.


Meningitis Cefotaxime Bacterial Meningitis Leucocyte Count Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Cohen-Adam D, Marcus N, Scheuerman O, Hoffer V, Garty BZ (2006) Pasteurella multocida septicemia in a newborn without scratches, licks or bites. Isr Med Assoc J 8(9):657–658PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Owen CR, Buker EO, Bell JF, Jellison WL (1968) Pasteurella multocida in animals’ mouths. Rocky Mt Med J 65(11):45–46PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Blackwood RA, Rode CK, Read JS, Law IH, Bloch CA (1996) Genomic fingerprinting by pulsed field gel electrophoresis to identify the source of Pasteurella multocida sepsis. Pediatr Infect Dis J 15(9):831–833PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Talan DA, Citron DM, Abrahamian FM, Moran GJ, Goldstein EJ (1999) Bacteriologic analysis of infected dog and cat bites. Emergency Medicine Animal Bite Infection Study Group. N Engl J Med 340(2):85–92PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Holst E, Rollof J, Larsson L, Nielsen JP (1992) Characterization and distribution of Pasteurella species recovered from infected humans. J Clin Microbiol 30(11):2984–2987PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Escande F, Lion C (1993) Epidemiology of human infections by Pasteurella and related groups in France. Zentralbl Bakteriol 279(1):131–139PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bingen E, Levy C, de la Rocque F, Boucherat M, Varon E, Alonso JM et al (2005) Bacterial meningitis in children: a French prospective study. Clin Infect Dis 41(7):1059–1063PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Perrin I, Blanc P, Karam T, Carbajal R (2003) Meningitis and osteitis caused by Pasteurella multocida in a three-month-old infant. Arch Pediatr 10(5):439–441PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Guillet C, Join-Lambert O, Carbonnelle E, Ferroni A, Vachée A (2007) Pasteurella multocida sepsis and meningitis in 2-month-old twin infants after household exposure to a slaughtered sheep. Clin Infect Dis 45(6):e80–e81PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Best EJ, Lahra MM, Palasanthiran P (2005) An unusual neonatal zoonosis. Med J Aust 182(3):137PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kumar A, Devlin HR, Vellend H (1990) Pasteurella multocida meningitis in an adult: case report and review. Rev Infect Dis 12(3):440–448PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Green BT, Ramsey KM, Nolan PE (2002) Pasteurella multocida meningitis: case report and review of the last 11 y. Scand J Infect Dis 34(3):213–217PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Spadafora R, Pomero G, Delogu A, Gozzoli L, Gancia P (2011) A rare case of neonatal sepsis/meningitis caused by Pasteurella multocida complicated with status epilepticus and focal cerebritis. Pediatr Med Chir 33(4):199–202PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Defawe G, Cormier M, Roussel MA, Fauconnier B, Senecal J (1981) Neonatal Pasteurella multocida meningitis (author’s transl). Arch Fr Pediatr 38(9):695–696PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Spencker FB, Handrick W, Bührdel P, Braun W (1979) Meningitis in an infant caused by Pasteurella multocida. Case report and review of other manifestations (author’s transl). Infection 7(4):183–186PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Steinbok P, Flodmark O, Scheifele DW (1985) Animal bites causing central nervous system injury in children. A report of three cases. Pediatr Neurosci 12(2):96–100PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Belardi FG, Pascoe JM, Beegle ED (1982) Pasteurella multocida meningitis in an infant following occipital dog bite. J Fam Pract 14(4):778, 780–2PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Schuur PM, Haring AJ, van Belkum A, Draaisma JM, Buiting AG (1997) Use of random amplification of polymorphic DNA in a case of Pasteurella multocida meningitis that occurred following a cat scratch on the head. Clin Infect Dis 24(5):1004–1006PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kouppari G, Garoufi A, Stamos G, Zaphiropoulou A, Harpathios T, Legakis NJ (1999) Pasteurella multocida septicemia and meningitis in an infant. Clin Microbiol Infect 5(2):101–102PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Clapp DW, Kleiman MB, Reynolds JK, Allen SD (1986) Pasteurella multocida meningitis in infancy. An avoidable infection. Am J Dis Child 140(5):444–446PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Costa-Cruz O, Sesso AM, Mate S, Frank E (1990) Pasteurella multocida meningitis. N J Med 87(2):127–129PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kobayaa H, Souki RR, Trust S, Domachowske JB (2009) Pasteurella multocida meningitis in newborns after incidental animal exposure. Pediatr Infect Dis J 28(10):928–929PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Goytia VK, Demmler GJ, Pannaraj PS, Luna RA, Versalovic J (2006) An unusual cause of sepsis and meningitis in a neonate. Semin Pediatr Infect Dis 17(4):187, 225–7PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Hirsh D, Farrell K, Reilly C, Dobson S (2004) Pasteurella multocida meningitis and cervical spine osteomyelitis in a neonate. Pediatr Infect Dis J 23(11):1063–1065PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Siahanidou T, Gika G, Skiathitou AV, Oikonomopoulos T, Alexandrou-Athanassoulis H, Koutouzis EI et al (2012) Pasteurella multocida infection in a neonate: evidence for a human-to-human horizontal transmission. Pediatr Infect Dis J 31(5):536–537PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Weber DJ, Wolfson JS, Swartz MN, Hooper DC (1984) Pasteurella multocida infections. Report of 34 cases and review of the literature. Medicine (Baltimore) 63(3):133–154Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Wade T, Booy R, Teare EL, Kroll S (1999) Pasteurella multocida meningitis in infancy—(a lick may be as bad as a bite). Eur J Pediatr 158(11):875–878PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Bates HA, Controni G, Elliott N, Eitzman DV (1965) Septicemia and meningitis in a newborn due to Pasteurella multocida. Clin Pediatr (Phila) 4(11):668–670CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Hillery S, Reiss-Levy EA, Browne C, Au T, Lemmon J (1993) Pasteurella multocida meningitis in a two-day old neonate. Scand J Infect Dis 25(5):655–658PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Zaramella P, Zamorani E, Freato F, Cattai M, Meloni GA (1999) Neonatal meningitis due to a vertical transmission of Pasteurella multocida. Pediatr Int 41(3):307–310PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    King SF, Sills JA (1987) Simultaneous maternal and neonatal infection with Pasteurella multocida. Pediatric Rev Commun 2:75–79Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Boerlin P, Siegrist HH, Burnens AP, Kuhnert P, Mendez P, Prétat G et al (2000) Molecular identification and epidemiological tracing of Pasteurella multocida meningitis in a baby. J Clin Microbiol 38(3):1235–1237PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Slack RC, Walijee AK (1975) Pasteurella multocida meningitis—case report. East Afr Med J 52(9):529–531PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Miller JJ, Gray BM (1995) Pasteurella multocida meningitis presenting as fever without a source in a young infant. Pediatr Infect Dis J 14(4):331–332PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Bhave SA, Guy LM, Rycroft JA (1977) Pasteurella multocida meningitis in an infant with recovery. Br Med J 2(6089):741–742PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Mestre F, Laluque S, Gallet S, Renaud H, Goddon R (2001) Pasteurella multocida meningitis in a newborn. Arch Pediatr 8(6):670–671PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Adenuga AO, Agbonlahor DE, Odugbemi TO (1981) Pasteurella multocida meningitis: a case report. Cent Afr J Med 27(2):29–30PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Levy CE, Irino K, Funayama CR, Moura-Ribeiro MV (1989) Meningoencephalitis due to Pasteurella multocida: clinico-laboratory study of a case in an infant. Arq Neuropsiquiatr 47(4):468–470PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Naas T, Benaoudia F, Lebrun L, Nordmann P (2001) Molecular identification of TEM-1 beta-lactamase in a Pasteurella multocida isolate of human origin. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 20(3):210–213PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Rosenau A, Labigne A, Escande F, Courcoux P, Philippon A (1991) Plasmid-mediated ROB-1 beta-lactamase in Pasteurella multocida from a human specimen. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 35(11):2419–2422PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Awji EG, Damte D, Lee SJ, Lee JS, Kim YH, Park SC (2012) The in vitro activity of 15 antimicrobial agents against bacterial isolates from dogs. J Vet Med Sci 74(8):1091–1094PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Tunkel AR, Hartman BJ, Kaplan SL, Kaufman BA, Roos KL, Scheld WM et al (2004) Practice guidelines for the management of bacterial meningitis. Clin Infect Dis 39(9):1267–1284PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Whitmore DN, Whelan MJ (1963) Pasteurella septica meningitis with survival. Postgrad Med J 39:98–100PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Repice JP, Neter E (1975) Pasteurella multocida meningitis in an infant with recovery. J Pediatr 86(1):91–93PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Chen WN, Moodie K, Nicholson GD, Alisharan R, Harmon RE, Alleyne GA (1976) Two cases of Pasteurella multocida infections in Jamaica. West Indian Med J 25(2):87–91PubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Frutos AA, Levitsky D, Scott EG, Steele L (1978) A case of septicemia and meningitis in an infant due to Pasteurella multocida. J Pediatr 92(5):853PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Prince-David M, Cadoz M, Mboup S, Denis F, Diop Mar I (1982) Méningites néonatales à Pasteurella multocida (à propos de 2 cas). Lyon Med 247:453–455Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Thompson CM Jr, Pappu L, Levkoff AH, Herbert KH (1984) Neonatal septicemia and meningitis due to Pasteurella multocida. Pediatr Infect Dis 3(6):559–561PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Giacomini T, Escande F, Baledent F, Le Pennec MP, Scart G (1993) Pasteurella multocida, a case of meningitis in a newborn infant. Presse Med 22(23):1105PubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Pilorget H, Granger B, Chaurand G, Pracca A (1994) Méningite néonatale tardive à Pasteurella multocida. Ann Pédiatr 41:560–562Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Boocock GR, Bowley JA (1995) Meningitis in infancy caused by Pasteurella multocida. J Infect 31(2):161–162PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Koranyi KI, Barson WJ, Studley JK (2005) Meningitis in a young infant. Pediatr Infect Dis J 24(4):387PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Haase R, Stiefel M, Merkel N, Knopp W, Sauer H, Lieser U (2006) Pasteurella multocida as a rare cause of neonatal meningitis. Z Geburtshilfe Neonatol 210(6):219–221PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Haybaeck J, Schindler C, Braza P, Willinger B, Drlicek M (2009) Rapidly progressive and lethal septicemia due to infection with Pasteurella multocida in an infant. Wien Klin Wochenschr 121(5–6):216–219PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Guet-Revillet
    • 1
  • C. Levy
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • I. Andriantahina
    • 5
  • N. Kalach
    • 6
  • M.-H. Pierre
    • 7
  • A. Elbez-Rubinstein
    • 8
  • C. Boniface
    • 9
  • P. Berche
    • 1
  • R. Cohen
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • A. Ferroni
    • 1
  1. 1.Service de MicrobiologieHôpital Necker-Enfants MaladesParisFrance
  2. 2.GPIP (Paediatric Infectious Disease Group of the French Paediatrics Society)ParisFrance
  3. 3.ACTIV (Association Clinique et Thérapeutique Infantile du Val-de-Marne)Saint-Maur-des-FossésFrance
  4. 4.CRC CHI CréteilCréteilFrance
  5. 5.Département EnfantsHôpital Saint-CamilleBry-sur-MarneFrance
  6. 6.Clinique Pédiatrique Saint-AntoineGroupement des Hôpitaux de l’Institut Catholique de LilleLilleFrance
  7. 7.Service de Pédiatrie Enfants et AdolescentsHôpital Victor ProvoRoubaixFrance
  8. 8.Service de Néonatologie-Réanimation InfantileCentre Hospitalier IntercommunalCréteilFrance
  9. 9.Service de Pédiatrie-NéonatologieCentre Hospitalier de SaintongeSaintesFrance

Personalised recommendations