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Capnocytophaga canimorsus meningitis diagnosed by 16S rRNA PCR


Capnocytophaga canimorsus is a common Gram-negative anaerobic bacterium from the oral flora of dogs, typically transmitted to humans by dog bites. We report a case of C. canimorsus meningitis where there was (on presentation) no apparent predisposing risk factor and in whom we used 16S rRNA PCR gene sequencing to identify the pathogen quickly and to switch to appropriate antibiotic therapy. Physicians should be aware of potential C. canimorsus meningitis if conventional cerebrospinal fluid bacterial culture is negative but Gram staining identifies bacteria, especially in patients with a recent dog bite or known immunodeficiency.


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