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Capnocytophaga canimorsus-associated sepsis presenting as acute abdomen: do we need to think outside the box?
  1. Soban Ahmad1,
  2. Amman Yousaf1,
  3. Faisal Inayat2 and
  4. Shahzad Anjum1
  1. 1 Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar
  2. 2 Allama Iqbal Medical College, Lahore, Pakistan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Faisal Inayat, faisalinayat{at}


Capnocytophaga canimorsus is a commensal bacterium commonly found in the oral cavity of dogs and cats. Although this organism rarely causes infection, prompt diagnosis is crucial for survival of these patients. Several unusual clinical presentations of this infection have been reported in the published medical literature. The present report represents the first case of C. canimorsus-related sepsis presenting with symptoms of acute abdomen in a patient with no known history of immunodeficiency. Prompt aggressive care and appropriate antibiotic therapy resulted in a successful clinical outcome with no long-term morbidity. This paper illustrates that clinicians should include this infectious aetiology among the differentials of patients presenting with acute abdomen, regardless of their immune status. Additionally, this paper outlines our current understanding of the epidemiology of and risk factors for C. canimorsus-associated sepsis, the pathophysiology of this disorder, and currently available approaches to diagnosis and management.

  • infections
  • emergency medicine
  • infectious diseases
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  • Contributors SA: designed the study, reviewed the literature, drafted and revised the manuscript. AY: reviewed the literature, contributed to the case presentation and discussion, revised the manuscript. FI: reviewed the literature, drafted the manuscript, reviewed and revised the manuscript for the important intellectual content and suggested pertinent modifications. SA: reviewed the final version of the manuscript and gave the approval for the version published.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

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