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The dangers of dog bites
  1. David W Wareham1,2,
  2. Joy S Michael1,
  3. Simon Warwick2,
  4. Paul Whitlock3,
  5. Alan Wood3,
  6. Satya S Das1,2
  1. 1Centre for Infectious Disease, Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, Barts and The London, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Medical Microbiology, Barts and The London NHS Trust, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Barts and The London NHS Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr S S Das
 St Bartholomew’s Hospital, West Smithfield, London WC1 7BE, UK; s.s.das{at}


This report describes an unusual case of endocarditis caused by Capnocytophaga canimorsus as a result of dog bite. The diagnosis could be established only by molecular techniques after amplification of bacterial DNA from the infected cardiac valve. The epidemiology and management of Capnocytophaga infections is discussed, as well as the role of prophylactic antibiotics in preventing these infections after dog bites.

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  • Competing interests: None declared.

  • Contributors: DW authored the first and subsequent drafts of the paper, performed molecular testing and contributed to management of the patient. JS contributed to management of the patient and the laboratory diagnosis of Capnocytophaga infections. SW performed molecular identification using 16S PCR and sequencing. PW and AW were the attending clinicians and performed the cardiac surgery. SD managed the patient, authored the final draft and acts as guarantor of the paper.

  • Published Online First 30 August 2006