Bite-related and septic syndromes caused by cats and dogs

Lancet Infect Dis. 2009 Jul;9(7):439-47. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(09)70110-0.


Bite infections can contain a mix of anaerobes and aerobes from the patient's skin and the animal's oral cavity, including species of Pasteurella, Streptococcus, Fusobacterium, and Capnocytophaga. Domestic cat and dog bite wounds can produce substantial morbidity and often require specialised care techniques and specific antibiotic therapy. Bite wounds can be complicated by sepsis. Disseminated infections, particularly those caused by Capnocytophaga canimorsus and Pasteurella multocida, can lead to septic shock, meningitis, endocarditis, and other severe sequelae. An emerging syndrome in veterinary and human medicine is meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections shared between pets and human handlers, particularly community-acquired MRSA disease involving the USA300 clone. Skin, soft-tissue, and surgical infections are the most common. MRSA-associated infections in pets are typically acquired from their owners and can potentially cycle between pets and their human acquaintances.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Bacterial Infections / complications
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Bacterial Infections / epidemiology*
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology*
  • Bites and Stings / complications*
  • Bites and Stings / epidemiology*
  • Cats*
  • Dogs*
  • Humans
  • Sepsis / etiology