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Pasteurella multocida meningoencephalitis in an immunocompetent adult with multiple cat scratches
  1. David Alistair Clarke1,
  2. Angela Mcbride2,
  3. Michael Kelsey2,
  4. Ben Killingley2
  1. 1 General Medicine, Whittington Health NHS Trust, London, UK
  2. 2 Whittington Health NHS Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr David Alistair Clarke, david.clarke11{at}


We present the case of a 49-year-old woman admitted to our Acute Medical Unit with a 2-day history of fever, vomiting and confusion. The patient was alcohol dependent and had sustained several scratches from her pet cat, which her pet dog had licked. She deteriorated in the Emergency Department—developing high fever, worsening confusion and meningism. Blood cultures were taken and broad spectrum antibiotics commenced prior to CT scanning and diagnostic lumbar puncture. Blood cultures and CSF 16S ribosomal PCR confirmed a diagnosis of Pasteurella multocida bacteraemia and meningoencephalitis. The patient was successfully treated with 14 days of intravenous antibiotics. P multocida is a Gram-negative coccobacillus which frequently colonises the nasopharynx of animals; it is a recognised but very rare cause of meningoencephalitis in immunocompetent adults. This case highlights the need to consider P multocida infection in patients with prior animal contact, regardless of their immune status.

  • Meningitis
  • Infectious diseases
  • Infections
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  • Contributors DC and AM contributed equally to the writing of this paper and took care of the patient during their stay. BK and MK were consultants responsible for patient care and reviewed and edited the work for final submission. All authors have reviewed the work prior to publication. MK and BL take joint responsibility for overall content.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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

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