Case report: Capnocytophaga canimorsus a novel pathogen for joint arthroplasty

A. Noelle Larson, Raymund R. Razonable, Arlen D. Hanssen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We report the case of a 59-year-old man with Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia and active alcohol use who presented with bilateral knee pain 5 years after a bilateral staged TKA. Cultures of synovial fluid and periprosthetic tissue specimens from both knees yielded, after prolonged anaerobic incubation, a catalase- and oxidase-positive gram-negative bacillus, which was identified as Capnocytophaga canimorsus by 16S ribosomal RNA PCR analysis. C canimorsus, an organism that is commonly found in dog and cat saliva, is a rare cause of various infections in immunocompromised and healthy individuals. However, a review of the medical literature indicates C canimorsus has not been reported previously to cause infection after joint arthroplasty. The patient was immunocompromised by cytotoxic chemotherapy, corticosteroids, and alcohol use. The patient was managed successfully with bilateral two-stage exchange and 6 weeks of intravenous ertapenem therapy. Because of its fastidious and slow-growing characteristics, C canimorsus may be an unrecognized cause of culture-negative joint arthroplasty infections, especially in cases when dog and cat exposure is evident in the clinical history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1634-1638
Number of pages5
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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