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‘Barely a scratch’: Capnocytophaga canimorsus causing prosthetic hip joint infection following a dog scratch
  1. Irasha Hettiarachchi1,
  2. Scott Parker2,
  3. Sanjit Singh2
  1. 1Department of Microbiology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
  2. 2Department of Orthopaedics, Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Irasha Hettiarachchi, irasha.hettiarachchi{at}


Capnocytophaga canimorsus is a commensal organism commonly found in the oral cavity of cats and dogs. Infections with this organism are rare and can affect both immunocompetent and immunocompromised individuals. The authors present a case of C. canimorsus causing indolent prosthetic hip joint infection in a healthy 66-year-old woman following a history of being scratched by her pet dog. The patient had an atypical history of chronic, low-grade infection which is unusual, as this organism is more frequently associated with acute presentations and fulminant sepsis. This patient was treated successfully with a two-stage exchange of her hip prosthesis and broad-spectrum antibiotics.

C. canimorsus is a very rare cause of prosthetic joint infection but an important pathogen to consider, particularly in culture-negative joint infections and a history of animal exposure.

  • bone And Joint Infections
  • orthopaedics
  • infectious diseases

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  • Contributors IH was involved with providing microbiology advice on this case, conceived the case report and drafted the manuscript. SP was involved with the management of the patient, follow-up of the patient and editing the manuscript. SS was involved with patient management and editing the manuscript.

  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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