Death by cat bite: Pasteurella multocida: Autopsy findings and review of the literature

William Humphrey, Jessica W. Crothers, Anne M. Stowman, Sharon L. Mount


Pasteurella multocida, a gram-negative bacillus, is present in the oropharyngeal secretions of livestock, wild animals, and domesticated pets and can cause infection in humans. The most common route of entry has been shown to be via an animal bite, but a significant portion of cases of human infection lack evidence of such a wound. Review of the literature reveals that patients with a history of an animal bite tend to have a less aggressive clinical course than patients without an animal source of infection.  We present a case, however, of Pasteurella multocida bacteremia which resulted in the death of an immunocompromised 80-year old woman in which the route of infection was found at autopsy to be a cat bite. This case highlights the importance of educating patients, particularly those with underlying immunocompromised conditions, of the possible lethal complications that can result from animal inflicted wounds and the importance of seeking medical assistance should a bite occur.

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Case Reports in Clinical Pathology

ISSN 2331-2726(Print)  ISSN 2331-2734(Online)

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