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Capnocytophaga canimorsus Meningitis in an Immunocompetent Woman: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

Delman, Mark MD; Chalikonda, Divya BA; Haroian, Noah PharmD; Djurkovic, Svetolik MD

Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice: March 2017 - Volume 25 - Issue 2 - p 57–61
doi: 10.1097/IPC.0000000000000424
Review Articles

Capnocytophaga canimorsus is a fastidious, capnophilic, thin gram-negative rod that may cause zoonotic infections when patients are exposed to the oral flora of dogs, and rarely, cats. It can present as cellulitis, or less commonly, meningitis, but is particularly known to cause florid sepsis in immunocompromised hosts, most commonly asplenics, those with hematologic malignancies, or alcohol abusers. We report the case of a 70-year-old immunocompetent woman who presented with altered mental status and was diagnosed with C. canimorsus meningitis.

Capnocytophaga canimorsus is a zoonotic infection, transmitted via contact with the oral fl ora of dogs, that is well publicized for its presentation of sepsis in immunocompromised hosts. However, less common presentations, particularly meningitis, can also arise and should be taken into account when the history aligns, even in immunocompetent patients. When suspected, early treatment with a beta-lactam beta-lactamase combination, third- or fourth-generation cephalosporin, or carbapenem, can improve outcomes.

From the *Infectious Diseases Physicians Inc, Fairfax, VA; †The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC; and ‡Medical Critical Care Services, Department of Medicine, Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, VA.

Correspondence to: Divya Chalikonda, BA, 950 25th St, NW, Apartment 605S, Washington, DC 20037. E-mail:

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.