Capnocytophaga canimorsus septicemia in Denmark, 1982-1995: review of 39 cases

Clin Infect Dis. 1996 Jul;23(1):71-5. doi: 10.1093/clinids/23.1.71.


Thirty-nine Danish cases of Capnocytophaga canimorsus septicemia were reviewed to determine the clinical course of this infection. The cases of septicemia were related to recent dog bites or other close contact with dogs. The period from the bite to the onset of symptoms ranged from 1 to 8 days. The mean age of the patients was 59.1 years (range, 28-83 years). Underlying conditions included previous splenectomy and alcoholism. Thirteen patients had previously been in good health. Common initial symptoms were fever, malaise, myalgia, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, dyspnea, confusion, headache and skin manifestations. Disseminated intravascular coagulation developed in 14 patients, meningitis in 5, and endocarditis in 1. Twelve of the patients died. All patients except two were treated with penicillin or ampicillin. Five patients had received antibiotics prior to admission. Attention should be drawn to C. canimorsus septicemia in cases of febrile illness following dog bites or contact with dogs, as well as those involving previously healthy persons. The incidence of this condition in Denmark is estimated to be 0.5 case per 1 million people per year.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Bacteremia / diagnosis
  • Bacteremia / epidemiology
  • Bacteremia / etiology*
  • Bites and Stings / complications
  • Capnocytophaga / pathogenicity*
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation / etiology
  • Dogs
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial / etiology
  • Female
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / diagnosis
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / epidemiology
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meningitis, Bacterial / etiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors