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Open Access Case report

A patient with bacteraemia and possible endocarditis caused by a recently-discovered genomospecies of Capnocytophaga: Capnocytophaga genomospecies AHN8471: a case report

Jonathan M Mills1, Emma Lofthouse2, Phil Roberts2 and Johannis A Karas1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Microbiology, Hinchingbrooke Heath Care NHS Trust, Huntingdon, PE29 6NT, UK

2 Department of Medicine, Hinchingbrooke Heath Care NHS Trust, Huntingdon, PE29 6NT, UK

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Journal of Medical Case Reports 2008, 2:369  doi:10.1186/1752-1947-2-369

Published: 4 December 2008

Abstract

Introduction

Capnocytophaga are a genus of bacteria that have been found to be the causative organisms in a range of infections, including serious conditions such as bacteraemia, endocarditis and meningitis. This has been especially true amongst those with serious comorbidities and the immunocompromised populations. Although several species are known to cause human disease, historically, laboratories have often not identified isolates to species level due to the unreliable, laborious techniques needed. With the advent of Polymerase Chain Reaction-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism Analysis, identification to species level is now frequently possible and desirable, as it may provide clues as to the source of infection and its treatment.

Case presentation

Here we describe a case of bacteraemia and possible endocarditis in a 64-year-old white British man caused by a newly identified genomospecies of Capnocytophaga in a patient subsequently diagnosed with metastatic adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus. The source of the bacteraemia was presumed to be from the patient's own oral flora.

Conclusion

Our case further confirms the potential for Capnocytophaga to cause systemic infections, highlights the availability and need for identification of isolates to species level and re-emphasises the difficulty in diagnosing Capnocytophaga infections due to their slow growth in the laboratory.