, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 599–602 | Cite as

A rare case of Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome caused by Capnocytophaga canimorsus in an immunocompetent patient

  • Joseph David CooperEmail author
  • Robert Patrick Dorion
  • Joseph Lorenzo Smith
Case Report


A 53-year-old Caucasian male with hypertension and active tobacco abuse presented to a community hospital with a 2-day history of vague abdominal pain, myalgia and increased lethargy after being bitten on his right hand by the family dog while camping just 3 days prior to symptom onset. He expired within 90 min upon arrival to our intensive care unit. Pre-mortem blood cultures grew a fastidious Gram-negative aerobic rod that was identified as Capnocytophaga canimorsus. Autopsy findings showed multi-organ disseminated intravascular coagulopathy with microthrombi along with bilateral adrenal hemorrhage and necrosis of the adrenal glands consistent with Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome. This case contributes to the medical literature as a rare presentation of Capnocytophaga canimorsus infection in an otherwise immunocompetent patient and stresses the importance of a thorough history taking and physical examination by clinicians along with prompt administration of appropriate antibiotics.


Capnocytophaga canimorsus Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome Dog bite 


Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest. Also this manuscript does not contain clinical studies or experiments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph David Cooper
    • 1
    Email author
  • Robert Patrick Dorion
    • 2
  • Joseph Lorenzo Smith
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineGeisinger Medical CenterDanvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of PathologyGeisinger Medical CenterDanvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Critical Care MedicineGeisinger Medical CenterDanvilleUSA

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