Volume 24, Number 12—December 2018
Etymologia: Capnocytophaga canimorsus
From the Greek kapnos (“smoke”) for its dependence on carbon dioxide, which is a large component of smoke, Capnocytophaga canimorsus (Latin canis, “dog,” and morsus, “bite”) are gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria that are part of the normal oral microbiota of dogs and cats (Figure). The genus was proposed to distinguish these bacteria from Cytophaga spp. (Greek kytos, “cell,” and phagein, “eat”), which also exhibit gliding motility. C. canimorsus was previously known as CDC group DF-2 (dysgonic fermenter type 2) and was first isolated from a man who had experienced multiple dog bites and developed septicemia and meningitis. C. canimorsus remains a major cause of septicemia in persons, particularly those who are asplenic or immunocompromised, who are bitten by dogs or cats.
- Brenner DJ, Hollis DG, Fanning GR, Weaver RE. Capnocytophaga canimorsus sp. nov. (formerly CDC group DF-2), a cause of septicemia following dog bite, and C. cynodegmi sp. nov., a cause of localized wound infection following dog bite. J Clin Microbiol. 1989;27:231–5.
- Leadbetter ER, Holt SC, Socransky SS. Capnocytophaga: new genus of gram-negative gliding bacteria. I. General characteristics, taxonomic considerations and significance. Arch Microbiol. 1979;122:9–16.
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Original Publication Date: October 30, 2018